So, I came up with an idea for a hub series that I think people will really enjoy, and it requires me to interview people. However, I've never interviewed anyone before, and could use a few pointers. I don't want to give away the premise of the hubs; I just need pointers on how an interview should go. I need to do is find out as much about the person/persons as possible. What questions, how to address said questions, etc. Suggestions please, and thank you!
There have been many hubbers in the past who have done wonderful interviews and they were a hit. I will not link their hubs, but some of the hubbers I know of who have done wonderful interview series of hubs are marcoujor, Vinaya and lord de cross, just to name a few. You can do a search on HubPages and read them. I think it is a great idea and know you would do an outstanding job interviewing. Blessings, Faith Reaper
Well you can probably Google how to interview _____________ and fill in the blank with whoever or what type of interview you are conducting and get what you need to start. The one thing that is really important is to be aware that whatever you are prepared to do going in should not limit your interview as to where the subject may lead. The main thrust of any good interview is to get truthful answers from probing questions so be prepared to go where the subject's answers lead and mentally question every answer from the subject as to it's clarity, transparency and honesty. In your mind play devils advocate on his answer to judge it. Look for tell tale signs of cover up like changing the subject, filibustering, not answering your question but answering a question you really didn't ask and when you identify this behavior either probe to get at the truth or call it out if you have to. This can be a fine line to cross as a belligerent subject who is hiding the truth may end the interview but if they stone wall your probe that itself may be enough to demonstrate they are not being honest and you can move on. The worst kind of interview is one where the interviewer acts like a deer in headlights and ignores a subject's distortion of the facts. For example I saw an interview of a so called "scientist" recently who asserted theoretical, unproven statements as facts and the reporter didn't even question his statements which were to any thinking layman plain lies which indicated to me the reporter had an agenda or was completely incompetent. Good luck - I hope this helps you to get worthwhile interviews.
If you are doing the interview for HP. Think about the questions that you think others would like the answers to. As Millionaire Tips mentioned (below), ask questions which will give you answers in the person's own words. Keep the yes and no questions to a limit.
What I have done in the past, after getting permission from the person is to send them the questionnaire and let them fill it out. That way, since I would be unable to record people from abroad, I would still have a hard copy of their own words.
Online, getting people to tell you "as much about the person/persons as possible" is going to start with one really important question from your interview subjects to you: why?
People are not going to want to blindly tell you all about themselves without you telling them why, especially if you are going to use that information to write a Hub. If you can't answer that question specifically enough, it's going to get rather hard to find interview subjects somewhat quickly. Interviewees are also going to want to know if the info you gather from them is going to be used in such a way that it clearly identifies them or not.
The NUMBER 1 RULE: Don't ask questions that can be answered "Yes" or "No." As others have said, it's a good idea to write down a few questions. However, be flexible enough to go down a different path following up on the answers your subject gives you.
Your profile says you "love to learn." That's great. Use that inquisitiveness to your advantage.
I usually start with: "Tell me why you decided on this project/career?" Most people love talking about themselves and this question will provide you lots of background -- on them or their project -- even if you know all the details. This is a good ice breaker and lets people get comfortable.
I usually end the interview by asking the person: "Did I leave anything out? Is there anything else you want to add?"
Most of all relax. Enjoy the experience and go with the flow.
PS Don't be afraid to call/email your subject after the fact if you forgot to ask something. Just don't take up too much of their time with this follow-up.
I've never interviewed anyone either, but it seems like it would be a matter of asking yourself what you want to know and what your readers want to know and creating a written list of questions to find out. You might want to try to anticipate some answers, so that you can be prepared with more in-depth questions related to the answers.
Hi, you also need to make sure you research your subject thoroughly too. Your research will throw up questions you want answering..... it doesn't matter whether it's famous people/actors or, say, people working in different industries. Find out as much as you can about the area you want to cover....
Excellent point, Dawn! The reason people turn to news and information sources outside the MSM is because so much MSM journalism reflects a very absolute lack of any kind of serious knowledge or understanding of the subjects they are reporting on--and a very absolute lack of inclination to learn anything about it. This is where you can run rings around the "professionals."
Here are some pointers:
1. Do your homework and come up with the list of questions. Know what you want to know. Consider the right way to phrase the question. It really irritates me to watch an interview and someone asks "how excited are you that you won the award?" Really, how much information are you going to get from that question?
2. Ask open ended questions. Sure you can ask yes/no questions, but be sure to ask questions that will let the person speak in their own words. Don't create your own agenda of what you want to hear. Really listen to the answer and ask followup questions if necessary. It really should feel more like a conversation than a stilted interview.
2. Make sure you record the interview. That makes sure you get the facts straight.
Basically! Ask the basic questions.
You know what they are.
Keep the conversation casual.
Like you are talking to your friend,
I learned this when I weas a telemarketer.
I got compliments for doing it.
Ask permission if you could use their name, city, state, or if they would like not to be used.
Thanks everyone! I have read each post and have compiled a through list of things to remember and questions to ask. The nervousness has subsided.
I've never successfully completed an interview.God knows I've tried...but they keep running away for some reason...maybe I should wait till the end of the interview to ask about names,statistics,and techniques on their sex life...Ya think?
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