Interviewing is done for a number of reasons, to first of all get information from people. That information can be to entertain, educate or inform the audience.
There are different tricks and tips to an interview. First of all know your subject. Why are you interviewing them? What do you hope their interview will give to your audience? Is there a purpose behind it? You’d be surprised how some I have come across, really do not know why they are interviewing the person, which is a concern.
Talk to the person before the interview to get some background on them. Ask around, learn as much as you can to help build up a profile and help assemble the questions. Understand what the contribution is they are making and what the audience will get out of it.
Even in those situations when I’ve been at an event and been told I’m interviewing Mr So and So, a quick chat before the interview helps me find out information and then think on my feet for the questions. It’s like flying by the seat of your pants, but you get through it. The importance is to listen.
Listen to what they tell you and follow through any lines. Listen or watch any of the greats. A good interviewer will listen to the person and encourage them and be thinking on their feet. They’ll also phrase their questions to get the best answer. Be on your toes and look interested (even if you’re not!), engage with them.
I only mention this as I’ve got an interview to do tomorrow, but of a different kind. The principles are the same. I’m interviewing for the BA (Hons) Multi-Platform Journalism programme and I want to see whether these applicants have got what it takes for be a journalist.