How to Conduct Great Interviews

Top 15 Interviewing Techniques and Reminders

  • Good lighting and sound are key: LOOK AND LISTEN CAREFULLY
  • Source light should always be BEHIND YOU when looking at your interviewee
  • Use a tripod (really!)
  • Use headphones to listen for sounds and turn off noises that you can control
  • Use the “rule of thirds” (Watch a video featuring info on lighting, background, shots (1/3 rule, composition) (6:39)
  • Keep your subject in a medium to medium close-up shot
  • Don’t move camera or zoom unless absolutely necessary
  • First question: CONSENT (see informed consent section)
  • Second question: INTRODUCTION and ask them to say and spell their name and affiliation (i.e. organization)
  • Make sure all your questions are OPEN ENDED (not yes or no) and have your subject answer in COMPLETE SENTENCES (tell them to do so if you have to)
  • Prepare a list of questions beforehand – and ask them all!
  • Don’t interrupt your interviewee – unless essential
  • ALWAYS ask the interviewee “is there anything you’d like to add?”
  • Keep silent during an interview
  • Log your interview and mark your tape(s)!

Videos

Watch this fun video by screennation to learn more about indoor and street interviews and the various shots you could use (2:56)

To get good instructions on how to interview, for instance which setting and lighting to use – watch this video from expertvillage! (2:33)

What’s Next? Informed Consent: Process, Tips and Suggestions

Suggested Exercise:  Do a Test-Run Interview With Your Friends

Additional Resources:

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