Interviews are excellent tools to conceive and present communicational content. Knowing interview techniques is important to obtain the information we want and make it relevant and attractive to the audience.
For this reason, today, we have decided to share and explain some of the techniques that should be applied to ensure that an interview is of quality and fulfills its purpose.
If you want to know them, read carefully!
1. Ask crazy questions
When you start doing interviews, you will see that one of the biggest challenges you will face is breaking the ice and making the interviewee feel comfortable and, consequently, being expressive, natural, and sincere.
You can apply the classic asking wacky questions that generate laughter and collaboration to overcome this challenge.
A classic example of this type of question is “What would you take with you to a desert island?”.
At the same time, we see how a question of this type breaks the ice and can help obtain human and genuine information about the interviewee.
2. Reverse roles
You mustn’t make the interviewee feel like they are in a police interrogation, where they are “bombarded” with questions in a mechanical and monotonous way.
To avoid this, you can play a little game of role reversal, in which, for a few moments, the interviewee can ask you questions.
Of course, this is one of the interview techniques that can be developed in informal and cordial contexts that do not demand great formality or follow specific formats.
3. Write down key elements
If the interview and the format allow it, note-taking is a technique that you should apply.
Usually, interviewers prepare a questionnaire and are guided by it, but new topics of interest and information to explore arise during the interview.
By taking notes, you will remember what exciting things the interviewee said or what new relevant topics came up, so you can ask further questions beyond what the questionnaire covers. Taking notes can also help with writing papers if you need to prepare ones about the interviewed person.
4. Establish concrete objectives
Although this interview technique is applied before the interview takes place, it will mark the dynamics of the interview and will influence its effectiveness.
Having clear objectives will maintain focus during the interview and approach the interviewee strategically and persuasively.
An interview’s goals may be to get the interviewee to say or tell things he or she has never shared or to expand the information available on a certain topic or situation.
The objectives are generally associated with what you want the interviewee to say because of their interest in the target audience and the community in general.
5. Ask questions that make statements
This is a risky technique used by the most intelligent journalists and interviewers in investigative fields.
They usually have verified data and seek to bring to public light different issues and situations that are hidden or not disseminated through regular channels.
Suppose you are going to interview this type. In that case, you can choose to make an eventual affirmative one, which you consider may take the interviewee by surprise and make him/her share information that he/she was hiding at the beginning.
For example, if you notice that the interviewee does not want to tell you that he/she went to a particular place, you could ask him/her, surprisingly, what he/she did when he/she was there.
By having an affirmative approach, just by answering this question, the interviewee will be confirming that he/she was in the place and, in addition, will give extra information.
6. Follow a script
This technique and practice help the interview to be organized and coherent.
It is important not to confuse a script with a questionnaire since the latter is nothing more than a series of questions to be asked.
On the other hand, the script is based on the structure, that is to say, what type of topics will be discussed, in what order, and in what depth, among other things.
This and establishing objectives allow you to strategically manage the interviewee, leading him/her to the topics and information you wish to obtain.
7. Vary the pace
For the interview not to be monotonous for the interviewee, nor for the audience that can watch or listen to it, it is advisable to vary the pace.
The aim is to ensure that the interview has different dynamics and times between questions and answers.
That is why it is recommended that in some cases, you ask open questions that take several seconds to answer, and in others, closed questions that are responded to immediately with a “yes” or “no.”
Imagine, for example, that you only used closed questions, one after the other without breaks. It would make the pace always the same and exhaust both the audience and the interviewee.
You know the most effective interview techniques that enable you to achieve quality and accomplish specific goals.
There are several key practices for a successful interview, apart from the above.
One of these is to prepare in-depth before the interview, to get to know the character and the topics of interest.
In addition, it is essential to make eye contact during the interview, show interest in the interviewee and, above all, maintain a cordial and respectful attitude.