Ways & How

how to interview someone

how to interview someone

A good interview also depends on the interviewer and not just the interviewee; therefore it’s important to know how to interview someone. An interview could be as short as a minute or as long as a few hours. However, it may not take any longer than a few minutes to half an hour if you’re interviewing someone famous, so you have to make every second count. The tips below will help you become a great interviewer.

  1. Prepare the equipment you will need for the interview. The key here is to knowing how long the interview will be. In case it is a long interview, then prepare your spare batteries and extra tapes. Ensure all your equipment is in working condition; for instance, a voice recorder may be your only record of the interview before you write up or report the interview. If you are using a recorder, then don’t be distracted with taking down notes, although once in a while you can jot down key points.

  2. A thorough background check on the subject is indispensable.

    owing the name, address, occupation, spouse, or children of your subject is not enough. Go beyond that. Do research on all aspects of the subject’s life. Your interviewee feel that, in one way or the other, you know at least the basic details of his or her life and background.

  3. During the interview, stay relaxed. Before facing your subject, avoid cramming information and don’t be intimidated. Remember, what you have researched about the person should suffice to make you feel confident. What can help a lot is being at the venue way ahead of time.

    Usually, the person would prefer direct to the point questions rather than you telling them that you are big fan and that you have been dreaming of this meeting and it’s finally happening. Avoid such kind of statements. The best approach is a warm greeting, a little “thank you” for the time, and then keep the ball rolling.

  4. Thought-provoking and abstract questions are good. There are questions that require a mere yes or no as an answer. Try to avoid that because you cannot possibly expound on that in your report later on. Open-ended, complex questions can allow your subject to be more open and detailed.

  5. Make sure you ask relevant questions. If the purpose of your interview is to find out the subject’s view on a given issue, for instance, then that should be main theme of your questions. Be quick in formulating questions relevant to the topic at hand.

With these five tips on how to interview someone, from the preparation stage to the closing, you can be sure of giving good interviews in the future. Good luck and break a leg!  


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