TOP 10 INTERVIEW TIPS & Interview Planning Form
1. Plan and prepare the interview: Do your homework !!!!
2. Know your subject: Research the interviewee and the topic. Contact your interviewee
ahead of time to set up a convenient interview time and location. Perhaps get some background info
from the interviewee ahead of time. While you may discuss possible topics, do not give questions to
the interviewee ahead of time. Get the interviewee to pronounce his/her name and title ON TAPE!!!
3. Have a purpose / goal: Know it ahead of time; plan the interview accordingly.
4. USE OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS: These get short, essay type answers.
---AVOID CLOSED QUESTIONS: These only get one word or very short phrase answers.
---KISS (Keep questions simple and short.) Keep questions focused, one topic at a time.
5. Begin with an icebreaker question: Make your interviewee feel comfortable by
asking a worthwhile opening question that he/she can answer easily without feeling overwhelmed or
intimidated. Save the tougher questions for later.
6. Build the interview logically: Plan a sequence of questions that builds to your most
important questions. Have a logical organizational plan. Only ask questions which elicit information that is
unavailable through research, that is worthwhile of doing an interview, that provides insight or emotion, or
that adds to your topic or provides answers that your audience needs or wants to know.
-----Do NOT waste the time of the interviewee by asking obvious questions that could
be answered on your own with just a little homework.
7. LISTEN !!! It is the most important interviewing skill.
---USE FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS
----- Be flexible; adjust as you go. Do NOT just stick to your prepared
questions; Listen to the interviewee’s answers. Follow up and if necessary change
directions based on what you hear and your purpose/goals.
8. Do NOT interrupt the interviewee. Only communicate nonverbally when the
interviewee is talking. Don’t say things like, “Yes…” or “Uh-huh….” Use head nods to encourage the
interviewee. Use other gestures to move the interview along. We should not hear your voice when
the interviewee is speaking.
9. Be conversational. Do not just sound like you are asking a list of questions.
10. Be Professional & TAKE THE HIGH ROAD !!!
Remember that the interviewee is the important person in the interview. Do NOT try to be the
star. Do NOT try to show how much you know. Do NOT assume answers and do NOT frame your
questions with what you think the interviewee thinks or feels. The audience wants to hear what the
interviewee has to say, not you. You represent the audience and your station. Ask intelligent,
professional, respectful questions that give the audience access to what they want to know or
understand. BE SURE TO THANK THE INTERVIEWEE WHEN THE INTERVIEW HAS ENDED.
INTERVIEW PLANNING FORM 10 :
This must be typed, very detailed, and complete. You may attach more info.
- GOAL: In one or two complete sentences, describe the purpose/goal of your interview. Beyond asking questions, what do you want to accomplish and what will your audience get out of it?
- Research and Brainstorming: List all that you know about the interviewee and subject (10 or more facts):
3. INTRODUCTION: Write out a clever introduction. Get the audience’s attention and then introduce yourself,
your interviewee, and the subject. Be creative. This is for 107.9—FM.
- CLOSING: Write out the ending to your interview. End big, and then “sign off” with the interviewer’s name, the interviewee’s name, and the last line should be, “…107.9—FM, WWPH, in Princeton Junction.”
- OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS (AT LEAST 6): Must start with an icebreaker. All questions must be open-ended. Must show one or more follow-up questions. Must have a logical order, with a buildup to the tougher questions.
- ICEBREAKER QUESTION: