Tips on Interviewing - Part 4
Part 4 of a 6-part series on interviewing tips to capture stories from other people.
4. Impromptu questions
a. Develop good interview skills – Start with a prepared list of questions or topics to discuss, but feel free to expand to other areas on the fly. Impromptu (unplanned) questions may turn out to be the best ones.
b. Lead-ins to other questions – Often times their response will lead you to think of another question that is not on your list. Go for it! Some of the best human interest stories happen because the speaker opened up an unexpected door to another subject. These can be exciting discoveries. For example, as Grandma is telling you about her 3rd Grade experiences, she may say “Oh! That reminds me. Did you ever hear about the time your dad got kicked out of the 3rd Grade for…?”
c. Don’t interrupt - save it for later – While the person is responding to your question, they may trigger other questions in your mind. If they are still talking, do not interrupt them! Let them finish their train of thought first. You can jot down the question to remind yourself to ask it a bit later. If Grandma hasn’t told you as much as you’d like to know, ask her, “What else did my dad do in 3rd Grade that was funny?”