The art of interview


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The art of interview

  1. 1. The Art of Interview From the Experts andVeterans of CNN
  2. 2. According to CNN: •The stories you tell, whether in text form, by way of video or through audio, are only as good as the information you gather
  3. 3. Make the subject comfortable • Before you start, try to establish a connection and level of trust with the person you'll be interviewing • Putting him or her at ease before the questioning begins can make a big difference
  4. 4. Do your homework, but don't over think • You and your audience will be best served if you have your head around the issue and are ready to ask the tough questions • Your basic curiosity should drive your questions • Jot down some notes going in, key ideas you want to be sure to touch on, but don't have a typed-out long list of questions.That'll only distract you
  5. 5. Respect who you're talking to • If a guy on the street blurts out something that you think might put his family in danger or cost him his job, for example, you may : • (a) want to keep that out of your story, especially if it's not relevant to what you're covering; or, if his words are connected to what you're doing • (b) talk to him about what he's saying, make sure he's comfortable putting those words out there or see if there's a way to incorporate his sentiments without endangering him -- assuming he doesn't want to be endangered
  6. 6. Listen, listen, listen • Listen and listen intently and do not cut the person you interview at the height of him/her raising an important point • Look at those you interview, show them you're engaged with a nod of the head, your eyes, your smile when appropriate
  7. 7. Ask open-ended questions • If you're looking for good quotes or meaty answers and descriptions, stay away from questions that'll elicit one-word responses • Say, for instance, that you're interviewing someone who witnessed a disaster. Don't ask, "Were you scared? Did you run away?" • The better questions would be along these lines: "What do you remember seeing, feeling and thinking? What could you smell or hear?Tell me what you did."
  8. 8. Allow for silences; don't interrupt • Most people need some time to grapple with their thoughts and formulate responses. It's on you to give them that space • You don't know what memories or ideas are going through their minds, and if you jump in too quickly, you might miss a gem • By carefully watching the person you're talking to, you can see if someone's deep in thought or ready to move on • Another advantage to silences is that they can make people uncomfortable and push them to speak.
  9. 9. Reword or re-ask, as necessary • There may be a very important piece of information you're going after • If the person you're interviewing doesn't answer the question the first time around, you may have to rephrase it or come back to it later • Don't hesitate to revisit what you need.
  10. 10. Admit what you don't know • You can be as prepared as possible, but you can't pretend -- nor should you pretend -- to know everything • An expert will respect you more if you don't act like you are one yourself • Someone who is a leader in his or her field, or someone who simply observes a holiday you don't, is generally happy to explain what you and others should know
  11. 11. Keep tabs on your own emotions • There are times when interviews may move you to tears or near tears.You are human • But as a general rule, as hard as it may be, you should hold yourself together.There are ways to show sympathy or empathy without falling apart • You can cry all you want once you walk out the door, but in that space, your job is to let them say and feel what they need to say and feel
  12. 12. Invite the last word • A great way to end interviews is to ask those you're speaking with if they have anything else they'd like to add or if there's any question they wish you or others in the media were asking • An angle may exist that no one is touching.This is a good tool to get those tips and can sometimes reveal the most useful material.