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How to conduct an interview: tips for youth journalists Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Ha Thi Lan Anh, Canada Jul 9, 2002
Citizen Journalism   Opinions


15. Timing: you may com up with many new ideas and questions. But make sure you go where you want to go and ask the right questions in a specific duration of time.

<> Conclude your interview:

- Fast check names, facts, numbers… the last time before conclude the interview.

- Ask them if there is anyone else you should interview, any other resources could be of help to the articles (pictures, sounds, articles...)

- Give them your contacts in case they want to contribute more information later.

- Don’t conclude the interview in a shocking manner. Have a little chit chat to make the interviewee refresh. For example: Ask them what they think about the interview. It’s also good for you to have some comments and probably critiques back for the better interviews in future.

- Tell them when you can meet them again. But don’t promise if you are not going to do that.


Many people think when interviews finish, hurray, works over! Actually it is not. Many people try to figure out how to have good relations with media. Interesting enough, good media person should try to have good relations with those they interviewed as well. If they can do so, they will be the first the interviewee think of when they have some interesting news, events to share with public, which is what the journalists “are hunting” for. Also if the interviewees like you, they can be those who provide you with many introductions, ideas, linkages and connections which will be great for your future interviews, stories and features.

So here you are: some of “what to do’s” after the interview:

- Check all information: recheck again all information that you get from the interviewees especial events, facts, data, names, numbers. As mentions above, sometimes interviewees would lie or they themselves would make mistake with the facts because they are human too. And it’s not them but YOU who will be responsible if there are any mistakes when the story comes to the public. So save yourself by checking carefully!!

- Write your story and send a draft to the interviewee: write your story with your passions and information from the interview. Remember journalists write whatever they want to write. Editors publish whatever they want to publish. So it’s necessary to let the interviewee read your draft. Also they might give more information, suggestion to your story. And most important: they know you are not just a “news hunter”, writing for writing’s sake. Again this is to Show your respect.

- Thank the interviewee : when your story is published, contact the interviewee just to say thank them, what they think about the story and ask them to keep in touch for further cooperation,...It takes only a couple of minutes to make a phone call but its worth!!

- Prepare to face reactions: you will get different reactions from the interviewees after the story is published. Be prepared to face all kind of reactions. Be receptive to critiques and comments. Again don’t be defensive. The interviewees can be happy or disappointed with your story. In all situations, listen to them, think about their comments, learn something for yourself .But never let different reactions discourage you to future interviews and stories. Be brave to write down what you think and share it with people.

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Ha Thi Lan Anh

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Useful and informative
Md. Akteruzzaman | Nov 28th, 2003
Thanks for good article. I wish to distribute this copy to my friends too. I also learned some tips!

Very useful
Damian Profeta | Mar 11th, 2004
Hey, your article is so clear and useful. I think it should be in Spanish too. I offer to translate it if you want.

Great Job!
Brian Kitchens | Apr 13th, 2004
I used to be a college journalist. One thing I tried a couple times that worked very well at the end of an in-depth interview was to ask the person what quote they would pick out of all the things that were said to include in the article. Both times I asked this the person actually stopped and thought hard for a few seconds and then picked a really good summary quote. I ended up using these quotes both times! Really samed me MUCH time.

so very useful great!
Everistus Olumese | May 31st, 2004
this is really great. I think am going to apply these methods in interviewing people for my magazine. thanks once again . you're best

Charity Fadun | Oct 23rd, 2004
great tips thanks!

Very concise.
Ed Smtih | Aug 9th, 2009
Hi, this was very concise information and badly needed. Thanks for a great job. Ed Smith conductknockoutbroadcastinterviews.com/blog.

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