Interviewing is such an integral part of journalism. So many factors surround it, but one thing trumps them all: Being a genuinely nice, respectful and considerate person. You’ve heard of the Golden Rule? Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated? Well, this is exactly how reporters should approach an interview.

Each factor should be met with the utmost consideration. An interviewer should be prepared by having questions ready beforehand, and already have an understanding of how they want the interview to flow based on the order of questioning. The interviewer should understand their purpose and what information they need to gather. Bearing this in mind, the source should approached by putting your credentials first, and asking for the person in particular you wish to interview (Ex. from textbook: “Hi, this is Bill Johnson from the marketing department. Is the head of the finance department here?”).

Next, a location should be decided. To allow the interviewee to be at their most comfortable. After all, in order to get the information you want you must to accommodate your source. It is best to make sure that any recording or videoing that is done is of the consent of the interviewee (we return to comfort being the highest priority). Sometimes video or audio is the best way to convey a story, because text may not do it justice or provide the emotions heard and felt during the interview. Be mindful of your facial expressions, as some may provoke further questions without you having to even say a word. Silence is just as much of an ally as preparation.


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