How To Start The Ball Rolling

Anderson Cooper interviewing liam Neeson.

Anderson Cooper interviewing liam Neeson.

Interviewing can seem simple to some people. You just have to come up with a few questions, put them on note cards and simply ask them. In reality, interviewing is an art that must be mastered. It is a skill that must be learned if you want to become successful in your career. This is a skill that is learned through research, preparedness, adaptability, and in your ability in being astute. After reading this article you will be well on your way in becoming an expert in interviewing.

The very first thing that you must do is research. This is the foundation of your interview – without it you will fail. Therefore, do your homework; you need to know more about the person than they know themselves. You need to become an investigator. From here you are able to set your story. In other words, you are able to go into the interview with a purpose.  Then you begin writing your questions on notecards. Write as many question as you can think. This is the point where you must think outside the box. Of course you need to ask questions that everyone wants to know the answer to, especially those controversial topics. But don’t forget to be creative in your questions. Don’t ask the same boring questions everyone has asked your interviewee in their past interviews. Discuss with a friend or a colleague just to make sure that you have as many questions possible. Next, spend some time in organizing chronologically your questions. This is a very important step to do. The order of your questions does matter.

Now that you are prepared, let’s focus on a few key points that will help you on your actual interview. First, remember to have a strong beginning and a strong ending. So, your very first question must be impactful, as well as your last questions. For example, you could end with “finish this sentence for me. Gremaud Angee is…” Second, you have to push to get an answer. If they don’t answer it the first time, keep asking until you get something out of them. Don’t be afraid to ask the gritty nitty questions. Feel comfortable in asking questions about sexual orientations, alcohol, drugs among other things, but be smart in how and when you ask them. Keep in mind that the interviewee may not answer them, or simply walk out of the interview. Lastly, don’t forget to give your interviewee some time to think in order to answer the questions. Silence, although can be awkward, is ultimately good.


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