Conducting interviews

If you listen to better & more informative radio shows & stations you will likely hear a lot of interviews. Interviewing is one of the most important skills that a broadcaster can possess, but not a lot of people know the very simple keys to a successful interview. There are a few key steps that will help you to conduct a great interview.

  1. Do some research before hand. I personally don’t like to do too much research, but it’s important to know something about the person/event you’ll be discussing. When I’m talking to a musician, I always want to read their bio on their website, see what they’ve been up to, and maybe read a few things about what others are saying about them. I personally don’t recommend trying to be too much of an expert, because that can make for an interview that loses a lot of your audience, who may know nothing about the subject.
  2. Come up with a list of topics for discussion. Again, I try not to have too many. Nothing is worse in an interview than someone who just reads off a list of questions. As a matter of fact, I don’t even write things in the form of a question, instead, I keep a list of point form notes that I can refer to and come up with questions about as the interview progresses. If you read a list of questions, you will sound bored and your interview subject and your audience will be bored too.
  3. LISTEN! This is THE KEY to a good interview. If you do one thing, do this. People think that a good interview is because of great questions or a skilled interviewer, but really, it’s all about being a good LISTENER! Your job is to engage your subject in a CONVERSATION. Your audience should feel like they’re eavesdropping on a really interesting talk between knowledgeable people. You can do an interview without any research and without any questions in advance, so long as you know how to start and how to LISTEN. You need to know why you’re talking to someone, whether it’s about something they’ve done/will do, or whether it’s about an event (past or present) but your job is to inform anyone who knows NOTHING about the subject, so asking even the most obvious questions can be useful. Then, most importantly, while your subject is answering a question you listen to what they say and get them to expand on that.

Here are a couple of videos that help explain how to plan and conduct a good interview. They’re from a course on conducting video interviews, but the process is the same: Watch those videos here

Your job will be to research, plan, and conduct an interview. Start simple and do something in-school. There are two big events coming up really soon:

Thursday, March 3 – there is a celebration of International Women’s Day. You could talk to Mr. Halbert, Ms. Kopetsky, Ms. Frolek, or Ms. Tuchscherer about this.

March 8 – 10 is our school play. You could interview Ms. Orloff or Ms. Licorish about that

or pick a school club, group, or event and ask for more information! Here is a list of some of the clubs and activities at our school: St.JamesCollegiateSchoolGroups-2015-2016

If you want to get ambitious and talk to someone outside of school, just run it by me first and we’ll make sure that it’ll work.

Tell Mr. Robson what's on your mind!