Make sure you do your research before the interview or you’ll just make yourself look stupid.
2. PREPARING THE INTERVIEW
You need to decide how you’re going to record the interview. If the interview is a really short one, or you’re just interviewing one person, you can do it with a pen and paper. But if the interview is long, or you’re interviewing more than one person, a dictaphone, a digital recorder or phone will work fine.
3. PREPARING QUESTIONS: THE SCRIPT AND THE PROMPT
Have a list of questions to ask the interviewee/subject. Have about 6-12 questions prepared. But, when interviewing, listen to what the interviewee is saying and don’t just ask the prepared questions like a script. For example, he may have made a good point, and you can use that chance to ask him to expand on that point, instead of asking them your next pre-prepared questions. An interview is like a conversation: let the convo flow and ask your pre-prepared questions when the interview is becoming repetitive or boring.
4. ONLY ASK QUESTIONS
Even if the interviewee is saying things that you really disagree with, don’t start argument to prove them wrong. Your job is to ask questions.
5. YOUR FIRST QUESTION
“In your own words, can you tell me a little about your background?”
This is a very good warm up question because:
- it gets the interviewee to open up and relax a little since they’re talking abou themselves
- It’s a chance to check and see if the audio is good on your recording device
- It’s an open ended question – the interviewee could talk about their childhood, their tim in uni, their career etc.
6. ASK OPEN QUESTIONS, AVOID CLOSED ONES
You can get a bigger, longer better answer by asking an open ended question rather than a closed one.
7. DON’T INTERRUPT
You might stop them in their tracks when they’re about to say something really useful.
8. HOW TO SHUT SOMEBODY UP
If they keep talking and you want them to stop, just tell them you have one final question. This lets them know the interview is almost done.
9. YOUR REAL FINAL QUESTION
Even if you’ve already asked your final question, end the interview with “have you anything further that you’d like to add?” More often than not they’ll say np, but they might say something smart that hasn’t been covered in your questions.
10. FOLLOW UPS
In case you didn’t cover everything in your interview, you could always get in touch with the person you interviewed, thank them for the previous interview, and tell them how there’s one or two things you missed or there’s something you’d like to go over again. The interviewee may be happy to see that you want to make that effort to ensure everything is as it should be