What is an interview?
The interview is perhaps the most professional tool in the hands of a broadcaster. It is a Story based on questions and answers and, as such, may appear somewhat dull, But doing a good interview is far from being easy. Interviewing is one of the most difficult -and most rewarding – jobs a broadcaster has to face.
The role of the interview
The interviewer is the mouth of the listener. He/she should know his/her audience and should have a clear idea of what an interested listener would ask. He/she represents the layman but should not be a layman himself/herself. A good interviewer Will keep his/her views in the background, For it is his/her task to bring out the ideas and the personality of the interviewee and not his/her own.
Interviews are usually conducted with three types of interviewees:
- The celebrity
- The man in the Street
Each of the three calls for a different approach, For different techniques, and a great deal of adaptability on the part of the interviewer.
The purpose of an interview
The main objective of an interview is to obtain from the interviewee in the shortest possible time and in the most precise possible way information, which the listener cannot get elsewhere and leave the listener with a better understanding Of the subject than he had before.
The types of interviews
There are many different types of interviews, but mostly, they can be broken into three basic categories:
- The information interview which seeks to bring out facts
- The opinion interview which gathers views and comments
- The personality interview which portrays a great person
No interview will fall into any of these three categories. The ideal interview will concentrate on one category while incorporating elements of either of the other two.
How to prepare an interview
All interviews need careful preparation. It begins with research into the subject and into the person to be interviewed and ends with the drawing up a tentative list of questions. Prepared questions, however, only serve as guidelines and should be altered where the need arises. Don’t stick to them rigidly but adapt them to the flow of the interview. A short briefing Of the interviewee is important but should never be rehearsed in advance.
How to approach the interviewee
Respect the interviewee and his Views even if you do not agree with them. Show tact and Politeness, no matter whether you are talking to a minister, a farmer, or a housewife, for he/she is doing you a favor. Be friendly, relaxed, and natural. Put your interviewee at ease; try to encourage him. Let him feel you are interested in what he has to say. If not, he probably won’t be interested in telling you.
How to conduct an interview
Among the many principles guidelines governing an interview, here are some of the most important one:
- Keep your questions brief and to the point.
Don’t waste your interviewee’s time by making lengthy statements.
Avoid questions, which are vague or ambiguous.
Ask for precise and detailed answers.
Refrain from making personal remarks.
Adjust your tone and language to the situation.
Ask interesting and important questions. For if they are not, why should they ask at all?
- Keep the interview going.
An interview should run smoothly without unnatural breaks. Make sure each question is well linked to the previous answer, or else the interview will not flow. Pay attention to everything that is said. Pick up interesting leads and be prepared to follow the unexpected tune.
- Keep in control.
Make sure your interviewee keeps to the subject- If not, lead him back to the starting. Let him talk, but don’t let him get carried away. Guide him through the interview, but don’t impose yourself. Avoid technical jargon or at least have it explained. Interrupt only, if you require clarification, if your interviewee loses himself in long-winded answers or if he digresses from the subject. And don’t forget to end with a good a strong point of argument or an amusing thought.
It will make your interview memorable.