The first step to creating a great story is research and planning. You need to know before you interview that someone is the right fit for your campaign. But to make their story shine you also need to conduct a brilliant interview. Here are some top tips:
1. Choose a location that is private and quiet where the interview will feel comfortable.
2. Consider any support the interviewee or you might need while the interview takes place. This might be a support worker or family member.
3. Plan your questions in advance so you can concentrate on the interview on the day.
4. Make sure you have tested your recording equipment before the interview so you’re not fiddling around and making them nervous.
5. Ask open questions so you get long descriptive answers, not just a yes or no.
6. If you’re filming the interview ask them to incorporate your question into their answer. This way you can edit out your questions and the answers work as standalone statements.
7. Remind yourself you have to produce an inspiring story that brings an issue to life. Make sure you always push for anecdotes and examples.
8. If the person does not give you a strong enough answer to an important question ask it in a different way until you get what you need.
9. Have your eyes as well as your ears wide open. Notice if your interviewee’s voice falters, they blush or suddenly look wistful. It is at these points you know they are feeling emotional so gently find out why.
10. Never be afraid to ask what you feel to be a naive question. If you do not understand something they say, ask them to clarify.