Journalism Interview Techniques
Journalism interviews differ from conventional interviews. More often than not, journalism interviews are more conversational in nature. They are full of free exchanges of information and ideas, and intensive discussions about the current events around the world.
Journalism interviews purposely eliminate the formal question-answer session as in traditional interviewing. It does include questions but they are more discussion oriented. Such discussions try to bring out the expertise and underline the areas of interest of the applicant more expertly than mere questioning.
Interviewing Techniques for a Good Journalism Interview
To ensure a fruitful interview, interviewers must follow the correct techniques of interviewing. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules to apply to a journalist's interview; however, these are generic techniques that may be employed.
- It is important to frame a structure for the interview. Prepare questionnaire, identify issues, and decide the approach well in advance.
Make sure you know where you want the interview to lead. Prepare questions in such a way that it can extract specific information from the interviewee. Unprepared ness will trigger confusion, chaos and a lot of blind questioning.
- Journalism has to deal with a lot of harsh facts and scandalous truths. Ask about their opinion for such issues. Critically examine the facts presented by the candidates and ask them to prove their point or claims.
- Do not hesitate to prod further if the candidate provides less information or fails to justify anything that he has claimed. It is the responsibility of the interviewer to keep the candidates talking. Meanwhile, make sure that you do so without being intimidating to the candidate. That way, you may risk losing a good candidate.
- While it is ok to ask intuitive questions, it is also important to accept their ideas and views with an open mind. Opinions differ from one another. Hence, respect each candidate's point of view and try to see it from a different dimension.
- Introduce a few anecdotes to lighten up intense moments. Heated conversations are quite possible during a journalist's interview. Loosen up these tight knots with amicable narration of small, relevant incidents. Take care not to overdo it. It will simply ruin the seriousness of the interview.
- Taking notes is a good technique to help you to review the overall performance of the candidates. Notes also aid in comparing the skills and performance reviews of the job seekers from one another. However, make the candidates aware of your note taking before commencing the interview, in order to avoid unnecessary nervousness.
- Pay minute attention to paralanguage or the manner of speech. Usage of fillers, repetitions of words etc. must be kept under check if the interview is conducted for audio journalism. The same issues can be neglected if it is an interview for print media.
- Similarly, if the interview is being conducted for video journalism, check out the body language of the candidate. Too many hand movements, changes in facial expressions, fidgeting around with nearby things are not good signs for video journalism.