Being able to interview someone is a vital skill to have in the world of public relations. There are ways to improve your interviewing skills to get the answers and quotes you need to make a good story.
The first thing that I like to do when I am interviewing someone is to be friendly. The best interviews feel like a conversation between two lifelong friends. If you can establish a friendly vibe, the person you are interviewing will feel more comfortable and willing to give more engaging answers.
Be prepared. Come into your interviews with your questions thought out beforehand. It is important to do your homework on the person you are interviewing so you don’t waste their time because you aren’t prepared.
Always record your interview when you can. Say something along the lines of, “Do you mind if I record our conversation so I can quote you accurately?”. This will establish to the person you are interviewing that you know what you’re doing and that you take pride in being accurate. Recording your interview ensures you capture that great quote needed in your story and serves as proof for what someone said exactly.
Make the person you are interviewing feel like the expert. If you aren’t sure of what they do or say, stop them and ask if they could explain what something means. This will give them a sense of power or confidence that what they know is of great importance. It’s okay not to know everything and you should be willing to learn new things in each interview.
Be on the lookout for other stories in your interview. The person you interview might reveal something that could be used in a different story. The more you can take from an interview, the better. All of the information you gather from interviews are important, especially when content is low. You will have information for stories already on-hand instead of having to go out and look for the story.
These tips will help you in the PR world. Interviewing people is a standard tool to have and the better you are at them, the better your stories will be.