Art of the Interview #RadiodaysAsia

Day three at #RadiodaysAsia kicked off with a masterclass on The Art of the Interview.

The hands-on practical workshop was facilitated by a team from AFTRS including Fyona Smith (Head of Radio), Tony Rasmussen (Senior Lecturer) and Jess Campanaro (Senior Lecturer Radio & Podcast).

The class took participants through tips on how to prepare, research and conduct better interviews.

First steps include asking yourself why you are doing the interview. Campanaro said the goal is …first and foremost to inform”.

Other steps include what you hope the audience will gain from the interview and finding the right guest.

  • Do they have the authority and credibility to speak on the topic?
  • Are they interested and passionate, can they speak in pictures?
  • Can they talk in a way that will appeal to listeners?
  • Are they willing and able to do the interview in your time frame?

Examples were the given on the three main purposes for interviews including: Accountability; usually done with decision makers, politicians, leaders or representatives of organisations. Informative; searching for the facts of a situation or event and Discovery; asking the talent to reveal something of themselves.

Also consider your introduction to your guest, create a headline that generates interest or find a relatable or current angle. And offer an explanation with more information to help set the scene including details and facts that can be expanded into two sentences if required.

But the key to a good interview is to listen. “Actively listen,” said Campanaro.  

“Avoid reading your question list while you are listening to answers, you might not hear something important”.

Perhaps best summed up with this clip from Wayne’s World 2.

Other tips included doing your research, so you know about your interviewee and writing your questions down to remember the important things you want to talk about.

Listen to their answers and use follow-up questions when they say something interesting or can be taken further.

And, if your interviewee is going off the topic try and steer them back to what you want them to talk about.

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