April 21, 2017

Interviewing children. Shutdown. What you need to remember?



“If you have something to say, then, in my opinion, you should participate in the interview.”

“Sometimes children are not calling themselves by name, tell a lot of interesting, mainly concerning them personally. Only they do not want to become aware of who they are.”

Do not break off the interview abruptly. Think about what is best to stop. Warn children that the work is nearing completion, – let them gather his thoughts and say its final word. Behave so that after you leave the children have experienced the frustration or disappointment.

At the end of the interview is appropriate to ask, do you want to now the children to ask questions to you. It changes you in some places; they play the role of the interviewer, and you – the simple participant interviews. Do not forget to ask if there are any in the interview to tell the child the information against the publication in which your material, he would have become now the object. The fact is that at the end of the interview to the child often finds insight – they suddenly realize that, carried away by his story about life in the home or at school, reported the facts to offend or compromising their loved ones. Let this be an exciting tearjerker – to lead the child you have no right. To begin with, discuss with them whether you can adjust it – to persons participating in it instead of real names fictional alter individual realities (not you do it and the child). However, if your partner insists on concealing his story, implicitly give up the use of unwanted material for him.

Finding that the interview provides an opportunity to give vent to the listener the most secret, but no one hitherto not driven, the children sometimes turn inside the soul inside out. Such an emotional explosion in many children causes excessive excitement, they get upset. Give the children to speak, and then – a bit of time, so they relax, time to pull myself together and calm down. If possible, check whether there is an adult nearby, who knows what they were interviewed, and after you leave be able to help.

If you realize that you do not have to cope with children’s emotions, or you simply do not have the time, do not affect the very intimate and emotional scenes. Ask only practical and factual issues.

What will interview children?

Consider in advance whether children will receive anything from the interview – not in the form of gifts, of course, but something more valuable. A good interview is satisfying, children, and a journalist.


  • Do will interview the children the confidence that they can have a platform and speak freely, or is it just give you stuff right to your editor or head of research;
  • Do the children like to be interviewed?
  • Do they derive lessons from it for ourselves?
  • Do they get from you something in return (not small gifts or prizes, and satisfaction, new experiences, new knowledge, your compassion and interest in their lives).

It is very important to share with the children the fruits of the interview – send them a copy of them prompted by articles published in the press, film records radio and television programs, and if you work together with the photographer, the images and prints. Kids love to show such “evidence” at home and in school. However, do not make promises that fail to perform.

Looking back

“Do not we edit our message; it would have turned out quite different, unsuitable for printing.”

“Journalists always make a fool of us head – say one thing and do quite another.”

It is extremely useful to find out from the children what they think about the interview and how you could improve it in their favor. Their criticisms, if any, will take as a useful tip for the future; do not try to make excuses. Children tend to be very honest people, so they score well worth it.


Attractive young woman trying to remember what the piece of string round her finger was meant to remind her of, isolated on white background.

You should:

  • Listen carefully;
  • Treat children as equals;
  • Take them seriously;
  • Ask candid questions;
  • Find out if they are allowed to mention their real names; to provide them with adequate time;
  • Explain how you intend to use the information.

You should not:

  • Speak in a patronizing tone;
  • Sit or stand above children;
  • Invest in their mouth the words;
  • Allow it to other adults;
  • Interrupt;
  • We talk too much about yourself (when you do not ask);
  • Continue the interview with the child, who came to the excitement (stop, pause, ask if he is ready to resume work).

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