How to conduct an interview

job interview 4

  • Decide on a person you would like to interview.
  • Research this person and their occupation. What do you know about them? What intrigues you about their profession? Figure out why you decided to pick this person and let this be a part of the focus in your questioning.
  • Create questions. Start with some introductory questions and then prepare to “dig deep” with some questions that will give you a greater sense into who they are and what makes them tick.
  • Decide what type of interview you’d like to do. The most common are face-to-face and phone interviews. Face to face gives you an opportunity to look at the person and see the look on their face when they’re telling their stories. A phone interview gives the person a little more anonymity and might provide an easier outlet for someone to open up.
  • Set up a time or place to meet with your subject. If you are meeting face to face, meet in a place that is comfortable to the subject.
  • Bring a recorder and/or a notebook and pen. Turn the recorder on during the interview, but write down in the notebook key things that were said. You can also write down the time certain things were said by watching the timer on your recorder.
  • Start a conversation, not an interview. Have a conversation with your subject because you want them to be comfortable with what they’re talking about. The more comfortable your subject is, the better the interview will be.
  • Listen. Let your subject talk. Don’t be so quick to interject with more questions. Wait for a definitive pause before asking your next question.
  • Let the conversation steer your line of questioning. It’s good to go into the interview with an idea of what you want to ask, but don’t be afraid to ask your questions in response to what your subject has said. Follow-up questions can, oftentimes, offer the most insight into the person you are interviewing.
  • Let the interview go as long as it needs to. Don’t limit your time or your subject’s chance to tell their story. This will ensure the most complete interview possible. After they are finished, thank them for their time.

Much of this information was taken from:

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