Interviewing tips

If you’re a new reporter, absorb all of these kinds of tips you can. If you’re back from a long summer break, this is a great refresher for you, me and the rest of us, too. 12 basics of interviewing, listening and note-taking:

Not long ago, I taught a workshop on these topics to the young men of Poynter’s Write Field program, about 40 minority students attending middle school and high school. They found my lessons useful, so I thought I would pass them on to a larger audience.

I realize these dozen strategies constitute the basics. But when I am struggling with a craft – golf, music, writing – I find it helpful to remind myself of those basics, to climb down from the penthouse and visit the ground floor.

There are terrific extras in the comments covering most of the additions I’d suggest. You should read the comments.

I’ll just add two more. First, pay attention to the subject’s nonverbals. More often than not, they won’t give you much. But when they do, they’ll make the interview. Second, if you’re in that person’s “home field” pay attention to the surroundings. Those details are often gold.


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