If you have adopted journalism or working for a media firm as a profession, you perhaps need to add credibility to your work by conducting successful interviews during your career. You are most likely to interview people who are renowned and successful in some or the other way. Anyone can conduct an interview, but only a few people can conduct a successful interview. You need to have the right approach and attitude to turn just a mere interview round into a successful story. Here are a few essential tips on how to become the perfect interviewer.
Before you start the conversation, make sure you have cultivated a relaxed atmosphere for your guest. Be professional, but warm and convivial in your body language. If its a television interview, do not forget to introduce yourself and your guest to the public.
Begin the conversation with soft and non-threatening topics such as life background, likes, dislikes and so on. Do not make it a mere question and answer round, have a conversation instead.
Research is the key factor in all types of interviews. Before you actually head out for the interview, gather as much as information you can about your guest. Also, you should have in-depth knowledge about the subjects you are going to discuss in the conversation.
Questions will help you to construct the conversation, but you do not have to stick to the list of questions you have prepared. Be ready to follow up the conversation and try to make it more interesting by picking questions from the answers. This will help you to convert a professional conversation into an interesting story.
Make the best use of your guests precious time by asking open-ended questions in order to ensure that you have some substantial matter by the end of the interview.
Remember, you do not have to end up interviewing yourself. Be a good listener and show your guest that you are keen to hear more. Your talking time should not be more than 20 percent of the whole conversation.
You can even pick up one word or phrase from the answer and play back to the interviewee in order to get interesting and honest answers. Never interrupt your guest when he is talking, as he might lose interest in the conversation. Instead, wait for a few seconds after they complete their last sentence. That moment of silence will make him think; as a result he will start speaking from his heart.
In order to remain focused, maintain eye contact throughout the conversation. It will indicate that you are more confident, sincere and honest.
If you are taking interview for a radio station, invest in a good tape recorder in order to avoid any inconvenience in future. However, if its an interview for newspaper, you can take notes by using shorthand. However, if you are not good at shorthand writing, you can use the combination of a tape recorder and notes. Notes will help you to mark the interesting and important points.
If you are running out of time, you may require interrupting the guest. However, bear in mind that the conversation should not be turned into a typical interview.
If you follow the above mentioned tips carefully, you will definitely end up enjoying the interview round. Moreover, you will have an interesting story in the end.
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