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Optimizing Interview Opportunities. Conducting Interviews with Intelligence and Expedience. Who Am I? Keith D’Oria. Managing Editor, Physician’s Weekly Hospital-based medical news service Medical news, technological advances, practice management, clinical updates, and CME

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Optimizing interview opportunities

Optimizing Interview Opportunities

Conducting Interviews with Intelligence and Expedience

Who am i keith d oria
Who Am I? Keith D’Oria

  • Managing Editor, Physician’s Weekly

    • Hospital-based medical news service

    • Medical news, technological advances, practice management, clinical updates, and CME

    • Meet the overwhelming demands of the busy clinician

  • Managing Editor, Patient Education Center (Medical Group Management Association + Physician’s Weekly)

    • Multimedia information service for medical group practices and their patients

    • Designed to improve physician-patient communications, medication compliance, and patient outcomes

Preview of discussion
Preview of Discussion

  • Before interview

  • During interview

  • After interview

  • Troubleshooting

Have you experienced this
Have You Experienced This?

  • You get the assignment, do the research, and chase down the interviewee

  • In the interview, the interviewee becomes:

    • Short-winded

    • Long-winded

    • Convoluted or wishy washy

    • Non-newsworthy

Before the interview
Before the Interview

  • Preparation is the key!

  • Learn all you can.

  • Use your resources.

Before the interview cont
Before the Interview (Cont.)

  • Know Before You Go:

    • Outline how you want your story to go.

    • Collaborate with others.

    • If you’re freelancing, make sure you know EXACTLY what’s expected of you.

    • Get directions/instructions

    • What do you want to eventually say in your story?

Before the interview cont1
Before the Interview (Cont.)

  • Preparation Critical:

    • Information gathering.

    • Get the full studies relating to the topic.

    • Abstracts are only half the game.

    • Go to reliable resources.

      • Medical associations/societies.

      • Beware of the Internet!

Before the interview cont2
Before the Interview (Cont.)

  • Make phone calls/e-mails to learn more.

    • Take adequate time.

    • Gives you a good idea on the overall scope of the topic – and direction.

  • Use all of your resources:

    • Previous acquaintances.

    • Family friends.

    • Former contacts.

During the interview
During the Interview

  • Stroke the ego.

  • Be up front.

  • Record the conversation.

  • Pay attention.

  • Questions that matter.

  • Know your audience.

During the interview cont
During the Interview (Cont.)

  • Stroke the Ego

    • Tell the interviewee you’ve seen his/her work

    • Confirm titles, affiliations

  • Be Upfront/Explain Your Operating Procedure

    • What will take place?

    • Explain timeframes.

    • Explain your goals.

    • Tell the interviewee about word counts, if necessary .

During the interview cont1
During the Interview (Cont.)

  • Tape Record the Conversation

    • Take notes during the interview.

    • Dissect what was said.

    • Take a fact-checking approach.

  • Pay Attention!

    • Ask questions if you’re unsure.

    • Allow time for anecdotes/personal experiences.

During the interview cont2
During the Interview (Cont.)

  • Ask Questions that Matter

    • “Scope” the problem.

    • Identify barriers to care.

    • Overcoming those barriers.

    • Remember these goals:

      • Enact change in thinking, procedures, etc.

      • Get to the point quickly – interviewees have limited time

During the interview cont3
During the Interview (Cont.)

  • Know your audience:

    Potential “Home Run” Questions.

    • When writing for physicians:

      • Why is it important that physicians realize how big a problem this is?

      • Why are physicians failing to recognize this problem?

      • What can physicians do to best fix the problem?

      • If you were teaching a course to physicians on this topic, what messages would you want conveyed to the class?

      • What are some messages that physicians should take home from this article?

During the interview cont4
During the Interview (Cont.)

  • If you’re writing for consumers:

    • What are the key points that consumers should recognize when considering this problem?

    • How can consumers approach these problems proactively?

    • Are there prevention methods that patients need to take?

    • What are the key things that patients should ask their doctors?

    • Where can patients find more information about topic ‘XYZ’?

During the interview cont5
During the Interview (Cont.)

  • Interviewee Review

    • Critical, but often overlooked.

    • You’ll generate a better story.

    • Shows the interviewee:

      • You care about their input.

      • You care about factual accuracy.

    • Allow the interviewee to expand upon your work.

After the interview
After the Interview

  • Transcribe it yourself.

  • The thank you note.

  • Writing copy.

  • Following your own lead.

After the interview cont
After the Interview (Cont.)

  • Transcribe the tape yourself:

    • Cut out the extraneous stuff

    • Obtain the real points that the interviewee may or may not articulate well

    • Meet deadlines faster (this can add money to your pockets!)

Thank you note
Thank You Note

  • Send a confirmation note to the interviewee – preferably email

    • Do it immediately after the interview (think job application) – shows the interviewee you care about their input.

    • Thank them for the time.

    • Re-establish your timeframes, deadlines, etc.

    • Inform them when they can see it in print.

    • Offer to send a copy of the finished product.

    • Allows you to develop that resource for future writing opportunities.

    • Ask questions, if need be.

After the interview1
After the Interview

  • Writing Copy:

    • Involve the interviewee.

    • Get copy close to “perfect”.

    • Offer a second or third review of the copy after you’ve input their changes.

    • Use your pre-interview information.

    • Keep word counts in mind, if necessary.

Trouble shooting

  • Too Little Information.

  • Doctor Unresponsive.

Trouble shooting cont
Trouble-Shooting (Cont.)

  • Too little information:

    • Use your resources.

    • Go back to the interviewee with questions.

    • During article review, note where you are unclear.

    • Insert notes if some studies refute what the interviewee said.

    • Ask for backup information.

    • Call/email expert groups (eg, societies & academic colleges) for backup information.

    • A 2nd or 3rd interviewee may need to be interviewed.

Trouble shooting cont1
Trouble-Shooting (Cont.)

  • Interviewee Unresponsiveness:

    • You are awaiting the interviewee to review copy, but it hasn’t been returned (don’t worry – it happens).

    • Try calling – emails often go unchecked, unanswered.

    • Try working through media reps at the interviewee’s institutions.

    • Try working through the interviewee’s assistants/colleagues.

    • Solicit another interviewee close to the subject matter to review the article.


  • Prepare, prepare, prepare!

  • Get help before and after the interview.

  • Ask the interviewee questions.

  • Explore all avenues to NOT sacrifice integrity of the article.

  • Hit a home run rather than fly out.

  • Get the most out of your work. It’ll only make your efforts better.

Thanks for your time
Thanks for your time.

  • Open Forum:

    • Does anybody have any questions?