5 top tips for interviewing

I did a session on interviewing with a magazine team the other day.  They are from a highly specialist title, but the day reminded me that no matter what brand you work for, the essentials of interviewing are the same.

We l0ve top tips here so when we came up with some I thought I would share them with you.

1. Prepare

Take the time to research. What have they said before? You want to recognise their stories so you don’t reprint ancient history.

2. Have a clear idea of what you want

Go in with an angle. You may need to change it to fit the facts, but at least you’ll have a starting point.

3. Ask precise questions

Don’t work to a script but do aim to limit each question to one specifc point. That gives them less wiggle room so you get better answers.  And remember to mix and match open and closed questions.

4. Listen and respond

This is actually the most important point of all. Make sure you LISTEN. And show that you’ve been listening by making sure your next questions relates to what was just said. Don’t spend so much time thinking about your next question that you have no idea what they are saying!

5. Ask the next question

If what they’ve said raises a question in your mind, follow it up. Forget what your mother taught you about being polite: you are working. and your job is to get answers!

What’s the best tip anyone ever gave you about interviewing?

One thought on “5 top tips for interviewing

  1. Craig McGregor says:

    Great points well made…

    One good tip – as sometimes seen in probing broadcast interviews – is to remain silent after you’ve had your first answer. Make sure your body language is attentive and expectant, and your subject will probably feel obligated to keep talking, and may give you a really interesting (unguarded) answer!

    This works just as well on the telephone, with practice…

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