Some people want to talk and others don’t. You must try your best to get people to talk to you and tell you what you want to know.
All interviews require the same basic skills. You need to prepare. You want to research and find out everything you can about the subject before you ask a question.
Breaking News Challenge
If you head to a breaking news story, you want to find out whatever facts are available before you get there. When you arrive at the scene of the story, you want to quickly assess the situation and decide who can give you the best information.
You want to pause for a minute or two to think about what you learned and decide who you need to interview.
Then you want to calmly approach the person, introduce yourself and try to make a human connection. That will help you talk to the interview subject and get the best answers.
- Remember to ask open-ended questions instead of questions that give you a yes or no answer.
- Listen to the answers. Look into the interview subjects’ eyes and pay attention to the cues they give you.
- Ask follow-up questions based on their answers.
- Remember to be a fellow human being instead of a reporter on a mission.
In a sit-down interview preparation is key. You want to make sure that you know everything about your subject. Celebrities, politicians and athletes will tell you what they want to tell you. So you must think about what you and your readers, viewers or listeners want to know. Look for the unusual, something others haven’t covered before.