Interviewing 101: Top Tips to Get the Scoop

Interviewing classmates and teachers in your school is a fantastic way to get some insider information for the yearbook. But there are okay ways to interview and then there are great ways to interview. Here are some tips to make sure your experience is the best it can be.

Be prepared

Know what you want to ask your interviewee ahead of time. If you want to find out about the upcoming events for prom, ask around beforehand and find out what this person’s role is with the event planning. That way, you will be able to tailor your questions specifically for this person’s expertise.

Ask Questions that Elicit Answers

The worst thing you can do in an interview is ask “yes” or “no” questions. These closed-off questions are not at all effective in an interview because they don’t allow interviewees to really share their thoughts, feelings and experiences. Generally, questions that start with “Do,” “Will,” “Is,” “Can,” and “May” will result in a yes or no response. So, switch it up. Instead of saying “Do you like the events planned for prom?” which would elicit a “yes” or “no” response, ask “What are your thoughts about the events being planned for prom?” Do you see how that will give you a more fully rounded response?

Relax and Be Comfortable

If you are uptight in the interview, so will your interviewee. Your goal is to make yourself and the person you’re interviewing feel as comfortable as possible. Select an area with comfortable furniture. Make sure it is free from noise so there will be minimal distractions.

Try to Make the Conversation a Dialogue

Ask questions, and then let the person respond. Then after he or she has responded, it’s your job to respond to that response. Don’t just jump to the next question, make sure the they know that you really listened to the response and appreciate it. Simply saying an “Uh-huh,” “I See,” “Oh Really?” “That’s very interesting” will help show them that what he or she had to say is important. You can also ask follow-up questions. This really shows that you were listening!

Don’t Talk Over Your Interviewee

Ask the question and then give time for the person to answer. Do not jump in and talk over him or her. If you have something to say, wait until he or she has finished speaking.

Of course, these are just a few ways to make your interview experience a positive one.