Writers need good interviewing skills

I am in the beginning stages of the preparation process for my fall classes at Rider University (COM106 Writing for the Communication Professions and COM107 Persuasive Writing for the Media) and I came across a video on YouTube — an interview of Katie Couric offering her advice on what makes a good interview. (Watch the video by clicking here.) Katie’s comments back up what I tell my students when we’re learning how to interview people to obtain good quotes and information for our writing projects:

  • Prepare your interview questions in advance and try to anticipate responses to help you predict and prepare your follow-up questions.
  • Make your subjects feel comfortable when they’re talking with you — you’re guaranteed to get better answers when they’re more relaxed.
  • Listen when interviewees respond to your questions and be able to pick up on important points to emphasize or expand upon.

In my classes, we’re learning how to write feature articles and news releases, but good interviewing skills are universal and they’re needed for all types of writing projects. Do you have any tips or techniques that you can share with us? Please post your comments here.

Thanks for reading this post and, until next time, take care!

Kathy Magrino

Comments

  1. Kathy, I do a video blog so I definitely think these things are important. Thanks for the reminder.

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