In radio, doing interviews is a big part of the job. This is why it is important to know how to do a good interview. The purpose of an interview is to have information about something from a credible source, so the information is true without a doubt. It exist few steps to follow to do a good interview, such as knowing your goal, preparing for the interview, preparing your guest, asking open-ended questions and using the power of the pauses.
First, the goal needs to be known at the very beginning. A general outline is made about what the interviewer wants to talk about. This will guide the questioning.
Second, a pre-interview should be done. It is when the interviewer search information about the topic and the guest. It is the most important step. It is when all pertinent information about the subject and the guest is found. It is important that more information is known about the guest and the subject because if the interviewee goes in another direction than planned, the interviewer will be able to guide the interviewee to come back to the main topic.
Third, the guest needs to be prepared, mainly if he or she is not use to give interview. The guest needs to know the subject roughly but too much about it because if all the questions are told, the spontaneity of the guest will be lost and maybe some pertinent information too.
Fourth, in the interview, open-ended questions should be asked. An open-ended question requires more thoughts and more than a simple one-word answer. The questions should start with “When”, “Why” or “How”. This will lead more to a conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee and that will help keeping the audience interested. According to the Radio Western “Six-step Guide on How to conduct an Effective Radio Interview”, the guest should be answering their own way and the interviewer should be adding comments or questions if needed.
Lastly, the pauses are important in an interview. This helps the interviewee to transmit emotions, especially in an interview of emotion. In addition, the pauses are good to see if the guest has other things to add. A good tip, according to “How to Conduct a Media Interview Like a Pro”, is to pause intentionally after the guest answered.
If one of these steps is not followed, the interview will not be good because neither the interviewer nor the interviewee will be well-prepared.
In conclusion, what is recommended for an interviewer is to be a good listener. This will ensure that if the guest announces something unplanned, the interviewer will be able to bounce back and keep the interview interesting.