Interviewing Tips

  • Introduce yourself as a representative of Sin Newspaper.
    Remain impartial. Do not pretend to be someone you are not to get more information. It is not ethical.
  • If you are using a recording device tell the interviewee clearly, and ask their permission. Once you have pressed record, you should say “You are now on the record, is that ok?” so that their consent is also recorded. This avoids any possible unnecessary trouble later on.
  • Research the story beforehand. Don’t ask the interviewee for information you should already have. This will allow time for more detailed questions.
  • Plan your questions in advance.
  • It is good practice to contact the interviewee in advance and let them know why you will be interviewing them. If you have time you could email them your questions as well so they have a chance to prepare.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Be confident.
    If you are nervous, don’t get flustered. Take a deep breath and carry on. Remember, as the interviewer you have the power! Also, the more relaxed you are the more relaxed the interviewee will be making it easier to gather information.
  • During the interview avoid asking leading questions.
    A leading question aims to get a particular response from the interviewee and usually has a yes or no answer. For instance “Did you want people to react with sympathy?” is a leading question but “How did you want people to react?” is not.
  • Don’t interrupt the interviewee unnecessarily.
    Allow the conversation to flow naturally. Listen carefully to what they are saying to make sure your questions don’t suddenly change the subject.
  • It is a good idea to take notes, even if you are using a dictaphone.
    The dictaphone might not record everything that is said and you might miss important details.
  • Be polite during the interview and show that they you are listening to the interviewee.
    Be sure to thank them for their time before and after the interview.
  • Prioritise your questions and only ask questions that are relevant.
  • Never leave an interview without asking something that you thought was really important.
  • Dress and act appropriately.
    If you are interviewing someone important or attending a formal event do not turn up in your favourite ripped jeans. If you are interviewing a band after a gig don’t turn up drunk.
  • After the interview, ask the interviewee for a contact email or phone number in case you need to follow up on something later.
  • At the start, ask the interviewee how much time he has.
    An interview should last 10 to 25 minutes maximum.
  • Take a photograph of your interviewee or arrange for a Sin photographer to do so.
  • Do not misquote.
    The loss of a particular word, or addition or alteration of another could lead to legal action against Sin.