March 8, 2017

A few additional tips on conducting interviews


  1. After a few brief amiable phrases, start with mild or less contentious issue, leaving the most difficult at the end of the conversation. Sometimes it is possible to stretch the introductory part and give the other party to talk a little bit about what he wants. When the tone and mood of the conversation will be established, move on to the easiest of your questions.
  2. At the beginning of the conversation to ask a question or two, which you know the answer. This will help to test how truthful the source. Skeptical of any response that cannot be verified. Your interlocutor, especially if it is a political figure, can have his or her own plans for the interview.
  3. Writing the answers, was also noted as a companion dressed as behaving that surrounds it – those specific details that will help you re-create the scene for the reader of your material.
  4. Make sure that you understand the answers. If in doubt, ask to explain. If doubts remain, describe your understanding of the answer, and ask the source, whether it is true. This is particularly important in the discussions on scientific and technical topics.
  5. Ask questions that can not be answered in one word – “yes” or “no.” Pending questions usually cause responses that are more candid.
  6. Try to start with the question of “how” or “why” – “How did you feel at that moment?” or “you will be taken the same decision again?” and so on. These questions help you to learn more about the interlocutor.19
  7. The method is similar to the previous one. Ask: “What surprised you (in such a situation)?” Sometimes it can be a lot to add to your observations.
  8. Talk about the biographical details. Call interlocutor to talk about it. Ask: “What is the most difficult experience you associated with …?”
  9. Keep the conversation so as to always assume the answer. Do not ask: “Do you want to comment on the so-and-so …?” The interviewer may say “no”. If possible, ask a question, as if you already know the answer or part of the answer.
  10. If the other party refuses to answer, rephrase the question and ask it again, but a little later.
  11. Based on its preliminary study, ask questions like: “Oh you say so-and-so What is your reaction to this?”
  12. Use the so-called “pregnant” pause. If the interviewee did not immediately answer the question completely, wait quietly, pretending to wait. Often as a second escape, the source makes the conclusion for yourself; you need some other details and completes the short answer. The trick lies in the ability to use “re silent” interlocutor.
  13. When the conversation is nearing its end, start to ask the most difficult questions that, in your opinion, the source is not inclined to answer willingly. At this point, to say the reluctance may have disappeared. If it does occur, it will not spoil your interview, because most of the questions you’ve got answers.
  14. Continue the conversation, and after you have closed the notebook and turn off the recorder. This is the opportune moment for the most sincere answers.
  15. At the end of the interview thank the interlocutor, who spent their time on you, and arrange a way to contact them, maybe on the phone, if you suddenly find some gaps in its submission.

Leave about himself or herself the best memories – after all, this man cannot just be useful to you as an informant. If there is a possibility that he will not be able to buy the newspaper, send him a clipping from the published interview.

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