Feature image from YOUTUBE
Being able to interview people is a skill. Luckily it is a skill that, with practice, becomes almost second nature. There is so much information to be found in people if you only knew how to ask.
It is important for writers to be able to interview people well. Interviews are a wonderful way to get your foot in the publishing / magazine / journal door. They are also a good way to extract information from experts and research certain topics for your fiction writing. There is so much information to be found in people if you only knew how to ask.
Below is a list from the INTERVIEWING PANEL at the National Writers Conference, 2015, combined with advice from a number of websites and blogs and a few tips and tricks from Susannah Fraser, our Manuscrapped in-house interviewer.
Before the Interview
- Give your subjects options and be respectful of their time let them choose what works best for them.
- Expect the booking and pursuing of an interview subject to be time-consuming.
- It helps having a publication behind you when you approach subjects for interviews.
- Once you have found a subject that you wish to interview, approach their publicist. ‘Publicists are generally good to deal with.’
- Refer a friend. It’s not out of the question to ask your interview subject to refer a friend for an interview. Subjects will often know someone interesting you can interview next.
- Choosing person to interview – ask your editor first. 90% of the work will be tracking these people down.
- Think of what an interviewee might have to offer on a larger topic. Don’t be afraid to include news and currents events, to get their reaction to the world. It is a wonderful way of getting an insight into how your subject views the world. What could they teach readers, about a larger story?