Wick Communications

Pros share interviewing tips

In Writing techniques on May 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm
This image comes to us from the Australian War Memorial and shows an Australian reporter interviewing a Chinese family that had been taken captive by the Japanese during World War II. From Flickr Commons

This image comes to us from the Australian War Memorial and shows an Australian reporter interviewing a Chinese family that had been taken captive by the Japanese during World War II. From Flickr Commons

My old friend Jay Croft has put forth a dozen tips that will make you a better interviewer. When Jay talks about this stuff, you would do well to listen.

Jay and I survived our college years together back when print newspapers were state of the art. He went on to a distinguished newspaper reporting career in Anchorage, South Florida and Atlanta and now works in corporate communications. He has a blog that’s well worth following and he said I could pilfer from it.

Among his more insightful tips, in his own words:

  • Try it three times. If you’re not getting the kind of answer you need to a question, ask it again twice, in different ways. “What would you like to see happen before you commit any money to the project?” might get a different answer than, “Bill says he’ll commit 10 percent if you will.” Which might get a different answer than “Why are you letting another department get out front on this?”
  • Stop talking. Do you feel awkward if a conversation goes quiet for a moment? Don’t. Be confident, let the silence linger and see what happens. It’s not a game of chicken. It’s giving the conversation some breathing room. Unless it is a game of chicken, and then it’s a great little tool. …

I don’t want to mention them all, but they are all worth mentioning. I hope you’ll take a look for yourself.. He also followed up with more tips, provided by his friends in the business. You say you want more? Review these tips for a successful interview buried in the Kicker archives here and here.

Clay

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