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Making the Interview Work

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  1. Making the Interview Work What are general interviewing guidelines?

  2. Steps in conducting a successful interview: • Step One – Know what you want to find out • Step Two – Know who can give you the information you need - the primary source – the person who can give you the best and most reliable information • Helpful hint- People LIKE talking about themselves and they LIKE sharing their opinions with interested people! This will work in your favor!

  3. Preparing and Asking Questions… • Know what you are going to ask • Do your research! • Be straightforward and concise

  4. Types of Questions • Avoid Yes/No Questions! – Use OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS that will elicit a quotable response • -EST Questions – These questions tend to be too simplistic and may come off as yes/no questions – they may cut off the conversation and you don’t want to do that!

  5. Types of Questions • Stock questions – “All purpose questions” – Reporters tend to use these when they have had little time to prepare; however, sometimes they take the form of –est questions and can lead to a boring interview • Embarrassing questions – As a student reporter, don’t pry, don’t snoop, don’t ask hostile, leading, or loaded questions

  6. Types of Questions • A loaded question is a question that carries an assumption and is worded in such a way that the respondent directly admits to accepting the assumption. Ex. “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

  7. Do be polite Do pay close attention/ be observant Do listen Do ask if there is anything else you should know Do wait when there is a long pause Do establish a rapport Do make eye contact Do use the person’s name – act interested (even if you’re not!) Don’t threaten Don’t challenge (except for clarification) Don’t argue Do’s Don’ts

  8. Taking notes • People tend to talk faster than reporters can write, so you need to develop a system of note-taking that works for you • Possible styles: • Shorthand • Tape recorder – There are many pros and cons to this!!

  9. Going “Off the Record” • A source may suggest going “off the record” which could mean several things • You need to establish the meaning of this with your interviewee BEFORE you proceed • No information is off the record unless you agree • This is honor bound and you HAVE to stick to it!