Interview technique: Manual of the American Press Institute
The proposed guidelines are based on the proposals of about 50 reporters and editors and are made deputy director of the American Press Institute Elwood Wardlaw.
Know the subject. Visit the library or Internet facilities, as well as to find out what kind of person your future companion. What is his experience, what he is famous? Is there anything questionable in his person?
Write down questions you intend to ask him. Have an idea of what information is needed for the material you need to write.
Achieve understanding. Make sure that your subject know whom you are and what you want.
Reach a clear understanding that when you meet, where and under what circumstances. Can record interview? Can I use a tape recorder? Do you need a special permit or license? Will this exclusive interview, or other interviewers will also be present? Will someone be present at the interview? Will the interview is finished at one time. Would it be possible to take photographs?
Establish a business relationship. Be precise and professional reporter. Do not forget to take necessary interview. The caller will open, if it is to see that you are ready for the interview.
If possible, find a comfortable place, away from the noise, distractions and audience factors. Location and tone are important, especially if you are interviewing an unknown person. If there is time, and interviews should not be confrontational, “melt the ice” after spending a couple of minutes in a relaxed chatter.
If you think it necessary once again to tell about the interview, its format.
Ask your friend’s name and title. If necessary, ask the service phone number, ask your phone number
Get to the point. Keep your basic questions in a notebook in front of him or in his head. However, not literally follow the list; remember to get to all the nuances and adverse things.
Provide an opportunity to speak. Ask problematic issues “how?” and why?” For details and approaches. If the answer was heard only “yes” or “no” lean forward and wait. To fill the pause, your interlocutor will begin to explain your answer.
Do not ask two questions in one. Keep focused and concise questions: the question should not last more than 15 seconds, or be longer than two or three sentences.
If the interview digress, keep ready a question that will bring him back into the mainstream.
Avoid a situation where questions are asked to you (for example: “What do you think about this?”).
Keep impartiality. If your companion were not like the previously publicized its activities, a promise that he would make all efforts for a fair and accurate presentation of the content of the interview.
During the interview, show scrupulous respect to the request (1) not to publish certain received during the interview the information unless this was no prior agreement, (2) maintain the confidentiality of the source of information, or (3) to be acquainted with the finished material to its publication.
The acquisition of information. If you have agreed to tape record the interview, produce it without attracting too much attention to it.
Learn how to take notes in a notebook so that it is not conspicuous. Do not trust your memory when it comes to the important things, do write legibly when you need an exact quote, explain to the other party: “I want this idea to write down exactly as it seems to me the most important.”
Capture memory circumstances interview, do it not only visually, but also through other senses. Note the characteristic details: hair interlocutor; pictures in the room; how often the phone rang; what books are in the room; other sounds; the presence or absence of odors.
If you do not understand the content of the interview notice inconsistencies in the statements of catch or feel, ask to clarify and develop points of contention. Is this your interlocutor is referring to? If you are talking to a scientist or a specialist: he could not explain it in simple words? Could he give an example or comparison? What are the priorities on what should put the emphasis, what is the exact sequence? In addition, above all, what is the value of what has been said?
The end of the interview. When, as it seems, the interview ends, move the line. Ask, for example: “So how would you formulate the main idea?” Alternatively, “What was the most important of the above?”
Consider the following options for the last issue (maybe it is set, putting a notebook or tape recorder switched off):
“Do not miss if I do anything, maybe you want to add anything?” (Usually, something is missing.)
“It is not there if you have additional material on the subject?
Maybe you know where I can get them. Is there a suitable photograph, diagrams, maps? Do you know about other good sources of information about the interview? “How do people usually react to this information?”
“What are your future plans?” Usually, the answer to this question leads to new material.
Thank you for the interview and say goodbye. (Do not interfere as soon as possible to send a note with gratitude by mail, or call, when your material will be published.)
Consider the material of the future. On the way back, consider the material and build it in the head. What is the main theme? What should be the beginning? Does the interview already published or extraneous information? Verify whether the data obtained from other sources? Is there a risk of legal action for libel? Should we give in an interview with the affected party an opportunity to argue?