Finding the right people to talk to, and having the right form, can mean the difference between a compelling story and a stifled mess. Learn the techniques the pros use.
Getting the perfect interview is a combination of getting the right guest, doing the preparation, and having the right techniques, both technically and personally. This hack will walk you through everything you need to know. And if this doesn’t satisfy your needs be sure to check the Transom (http://www.transom.org) site for even more on interviewing techniques.
The best way to prepare for an interview is to do your homework. Hit the Web and find out all you can about the person you will be interviewing. Take lots of notes in a text editor or in an outliner application. Once you think you have exhausted what you can find out about the interviewee and the subject of the interview, you should organize your notes to make them easy to search through as you are developing your questions.
The next step is to find a perspective. In his book Radio Production (Focal Press, 1999), Robert McLeish gives four categories of interview that help you decide what you are looking for from the interview, and what questions to ask:
You are interviewing for facts you will use in a story in which the interviewee plays a key role. Recording the interview is just a convenient way of taking notes, or you might use fragments of the interview in the story.
You are ...