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Whether you want to become a better writer, or you are applying for a journalism position, knowing how to put together an excellent interview paper is a valuable skill. Mastering the steps involved in writing and conducting interviews is undoubtedly a career builder.
The purpose of writing an interview article is to provide your readers with an engaging and insightful piece about a particular subject.
Before you can write your interview article, you will have to conduct the actual interview. This requires extensive and systematic preparation to reach your intended goal.
For your questions to have a specific focus, you may have to do some research. Look for background material on your interviewee. You could try to find information on them from available biographies.
The person you will interview may fit into a particular specialization or area of expertise. As such, your interviewee’s background, achievement, and personality should be the focus of the article.
If the person you are interviewing has participated in other interviews in the past, you should read them. As you do so, look for areas of interest that were not covered in the previous articles. Keep in mind that you want to find something new for your interview essay to feature that may not have been featured in other pieces.
While doing your research, identify any holes in the information you find in the past articles. Should you find these areas, form the most appropriate questions to answer for the lacking information. The items you ask should fill the gap of knowledge that exists on the chosen subject. Focus on the issues the interviewee may not have heard before.
It is vital to come up with the right questions for your interview. You do not want to have a list of randomly assembled queries. Writing an article based on such will likely result in a vague and inconsistent piece that may leave a bitter taste in the mouths of your readers.
The questions you formulate should be tied together in a common theme. Having a subject matter will help shape your interview article into one that is coherent and well organized.
Use open-ended questions as much as possible. These types of questions give the respondent enough berth to provide the appropriate answers. Issues that are answered with a simple “yes” or “no” are unlikely to provoke an unprecedented response. You should ask your interviewee questions that require a thoughtful reply.
Rather than close-ended questions, ask questions that begin with interrogative pronouns such as who, when, where, what and why. Such queries are more likely to provide you with the response you desire.
For the most distinctive response, narrow your questions to those that will draw out the motivations, drives, passions, and ambitions of your interviewee. Asking about these things will take things to a deeper level of discussion and bring substance to your piece.
To have a realistic feel of this, take a look at some magazine interview article examples. Take note of the questions asked, and which issues resulted in the responses that provided the required information.
Once you have your questions down, it is time to carry out your interview. It may be beneficial to have a recording device at hand so that you can record the conversation.
Taking notes is essential, but may only take you so far. A recording will not only preserve what is said but how it is reported. Interviewees may communicate more through the tones, pauses, and intonations they use while answering questions.
Make the interview natural and conversational. Try to treat your interview questions like guidelines rather than a script. You can rephrase or adjust your questions along the way as long as you do not stray from the main discussion.
Keep the interview friendly and respectable. You will be more likely to get additional information if the interviewee feels comfortable talking with you. Maintaining a respectful tone will assist in building rapport with your interviewee.
As you continue your interview, you may come upon a new area of interest that was not in your question line. Should this happen, do not be afraid to digress. You could form new questions that could shed some light on the unexplored subject and add to the crux of your article. Explore all your question lines to exhaustion.
If the interviewee deviates too far from the main topic, it is your responsibility to steer the conversation back to the essentials.
After the interview, transcribe the interview session. A typed piece of your meeting could assist you in identifying the main points and strengths in your interview.
An interview paper should comprise of an introduction, body, and conclusion. Your interview essay introduction should have eye-catching information that will hook your reader’s attention and drive them to read the rest of your piece.
The body should be made of paragraphs that provide details on the main points of the interview. Provide the information that the interviewee presented as an authority on the subject. These ideas should be closely connected to your thesis statement.
In conclusion, provide a summary of the main arguments of your interview and finish with a memorable statement.
Remember to cite any additional sources you may have used for research or in the body of your text.
A well-written interview article speaks to the reader and makes them feel like they participated in interviewing the featured expert. To make this possible, you will have to craft the piece engagingly and outstandingly.
With the above steps in mind, you will be able to write and conduct interviews this in the most effective way. This will be the most rewarding skill once you have mastered it.
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