15 steps to a successful interview
- Know your audience and how to reach those readers.
- Do your background research before setting up the interview.
- Prepare a list of questions.
- Record the interview for accuracy.
- Cover basic information by asking who, what, when, where and why questions.
- Encourage detailed response by asking open-ended questions such as, Tell me about….
- Look for ways a project or research can improve lives.
- When interviewing researchers about complex scientific subjects, ask for analogies to explain the concepts.
- Listen for unusual expressions as potential direct quotes.
- Request names of colleagues or peers who could add information about the subject.
- Check for student involvement, especially undergraduate researchers.
- Be sure to ask students about their year in school, major and if they are comfortable disclosing their hometown.
- Ask alumni about their graduation years, degrees and hometowns.
- Finish the questions by asking interviewees if they would like to add anything.
- Contact your Mizzou News representative if the story has broad appeal for a media release.
Need more tips? Check the University Bookstore for reporting textbooks by Missouri School of Journalism professors.
Need advice? Contact Marketing & Communications.