- Research the subject thoroughly before the interview.
- Avoid simple biographical questions.
- Be prepared in case the subject becomes emotional. You may have to budget in breaks if needed.
Be an Active Listener:
- Have a list of questions but don't limit yourself to these pre-prepared questions.
- Listen to what the person is saying and don't be afraid to follow-up or make the interviewee clarify his/her remarks if you are not clear on what they are saying.
- Keep an open mind at all times and be flexible.
- Ask one question at a time.
- Speak clearly and sometimes you will need to speak louder than usual.
- Ask open – ended questions that require more than yes/ no answers.
- Use silence to elicit more information.
- Give the interviewee time to answer the question fully and finish his / her train of thought.
- Never interrupt even if the interviewee is straying off the topic. Try to gently steer them back to the topic.
- Make note of details in the room, how the subject is dressed,
if they talk with their hands etc.
- Ask the interviewee to describe the sights, sounds, smells---try to have them paint a detailed picture of what they went through.
- Keep the questions as brief and clearly stated as possible.
- Listen- interviews are about getting information from the subject not
hearing yourself talk.
- If the interviewee is drifting off the subject try to get them back on
track by re-phrasing the question.
- Remember it is ok to make a mistake as you will be editing your interview.