How to Write an Interview

An interview is designed to present a conversation between an interviewer and an interviewee and give a general impression about the subject of the interview. Writing an interview is an important step to show received information to the public. In this guide, you’ll find steps on how to write an interview paper and useful tips on this topic as well. Read them right away!

Ways of Writing an Interview

  1. Determine the purpose of the interview. You should be familiar with the information about the topic of the interview. Typically, an interviewer should focus on one aspect out of many different aspects of the life of the particular person. If you are writing an interview for a tabloid, perhaps you will need to reveal secrets of the personal life of an interviewee. If you are working for a scholarly magazine, you should ask professional questions. These are just examples. There are many aspects that you can focus on. Remember that you should prepare your questions in accordance with the purpose.
  2. Arrange and conduct the interview. Ask for permission to use audio or video equipment to record the interview. It will ease your interview writing a lot. Don’t forget to make notes during the interview. Even if you record the speech, you should write notes. Why? It can happen that while a person was answering one of your questions, he or she mentioned another issue that is interesting. If you don’t have a prepared question concerning this topic, you have the ability to write down this topic and think about a good question on it while your interviewee is speaking.
  3. Write down your impressions and thoughts after the interview. This will help you to write additional information about your interview when you remember it well. In a couple of hours, you will forget a large part of what was happening at the interview. So, you should write about your impressions and complete the first draft right after the interview.
  4. Write the title of the interview. The title should express the general idea of the interview. Also, the title should sound intriguing for the reader, and don’t make it too long. If you want to, you may add a subtitle that presents the name of the interviewee.
  5. Introduce the interviewee to the public – background, qualifications, experience and any additional information that will confirm their credibility in the subject of the interview. The introduction shouldn’t be longer than the interview itself. Try to be laconic and provide the reader with only essential information. However, don’t make it boring, and add a few interesting details.
  6. Write down all questions you asked the interviewee and their response. Present the context in which the interviewee provided opinion or fact. Some facts, events, and their background can seem obvious for you because you are knowledgeable of them. For the audience, these facts and events can seem less clear. Therefore, don’t forget about your readers and include specific additional information where needed.
  7. Use dialogues – identify the interviewer and the interviewee. Your writing should convey the flow of your conversation. Make sure that readers are able to define easily which are the interviewer’s and the interviewee’s phrases.
  8. Use quotes instead of paraphrasing when citing the facts or information given by the interviewee. Give quotes that are less than 40 words. After the interview is completed, you should send it to the interviewee so that he or she can approve it. You are not obliged to do this, but it will help you to avoid possible indignation or scandals from the interviewee.
  9. Proofread and revise your writing. Improve the style, grammar and content of your writing. Ask someone else to look through your work and make remarks.

Structure of an Interview

Most interviews use a similar pattern that consists of three parts: the introduction, the information exchange, and the wrap-up. Every part should start with a new paragraph.

  • The introduction. This part usually shows the first impression about the interview. It tells about the purpose of the interview and presents the interviewee to the public.
  • The information exchange. This part includes all questions and responses of your conversation to reveal the subject of your interview. If this part is too long, you can divide it into several sections and write subheadings. For example, one section is about the personal life of a certain person, another — about his or her career, and one more — about future predictions, and so on.
  • The wrap-up. This part gives general opinions and impressions of the interviewer about the conducted conversation.

Recommendations on How to Write an Interview

1. Conduct research about the subject of your interview. Read previous interviews, publications and works of the interviewee.

2. Prepare your questions in advance. Remember to make your questions “open” starting with words like “Why?” “When?” “What?” etc.

3. Don’t use “I” statements unless it’s in the dialogue from an interviewee.

4. Write the answers of the interviewee on separate papers – this will help you to organize your dialogue into a logical consequence and make a picture of the subject.

5.Rephrase and cut sentences that sound unspoken or make a sudden change in topic to make your writing more readable. The main rule is to avoid the change of a sentences’ message.

6. Make your interview more attractive. Add and improve the following elements: interview title, streamers and photo captions.

7. Remember to have the permission to record the conversation if you are making an interview over the telephone as it is required by law.

Take into consideration that a written reproduction of the interview should give the reader a feeling of the conversation’s atmosphere. You should try to immerse the reader into a certain atmosphere by providing them with photos and your own feeling about the atmosphere at the interview. We hope these tips will help you to write a successful interview on the basis of the information obtained during the conversation.

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