Improving the interview

Poynter has a helpful list of tips that can bolster your interview skills:

Interviewing is the heart of journalism. Yet too few journalists have ever received education or training in this critical skill. “No one ever teaches the journalist how to conduct an interview,” Courtney Herrig, a student at University of South Florida St. Petersburg, complained in a 2007 blog post. For most journalists the only way to learn is on the job, mostly through painful trial and error.

How do you walk up to strangers and ask them questions? How do you get people — tight-lipped cops, jargon-spouting experts, everyday folks who aren’t accustomed to being interviewed — to give you useful answers? How do you use quotes effectively in your stories?

The list starts out with something that should be obvious, “If you want to flop as an interviewer, fail to prepare.”

Read them all and then come back and let’s talk about what else you can do to improve your interview skills.

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