Posted by: mbhcity | October 9, 2008

8 Simples Rules….for a better interview.

In journalism, the source is what matters most, often journalist’s will look to statistics and reports for the sources, but communication with another human, perhaps an expert, is the on to go with. The human source is the eyes and ears, the wizard of their respective craft and will create the perfect story…the one people can trust.

But it’s not an easy task conducting an interview, let alone getting one.

So here are eight simple rules for doing a better interview.

1) Do the research. Look up the source online, preferably Lexis-nexis or through newspaper articles, find out as much as you can about the source and what the source can provide you.

2) Ask Better Questions. Create questions, recreate and practice them. This way you can avoid asking open-ended or confusing questions. If you have a question the source might not understand try to rephrase.

3) Don’t just rely on one human source. Try to interview as many people connected to the issue/story at hand as possible. It’s best to have at least three human sources in most stories.

4) Good Body Language. During the interview, it’s always helpful to make the source comfortable. Having good eye contact and posture helps, not slouching, lying down, or standing while the source sits. Don’t be shy.

5) Don’t be Talkative and keep the conversation flowing. It’s helpful if you and the source talk in a balanced/conversational way. There’s no need to be talkative, let the source express his thoughts as thoroughly.

6) Talk to the source, the way you would to anyone else. Leave the jargon out, keep it simple and smart. Talk to the source the way you would anyone else.

7) Follow-up. After the interview, keep up to date with the source, you never know if the story has changed.

8) And most important…. Practice! Practice the questions, practice your speaking, and most importantly practice your posture. Good eye contact and solid handshake and good posture are always helpful.


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