Audio: the Interview

Audio: the Interview

Take out your pen and paper again, it’s time to brainstorm!​

If you could interview anyone, who would it be? What would you ask first?

The art of the pre-interview

The pre-interview is a conversation you have with your subject before you sit down to film the interview for your video.

You must, must, must always pre-interview your subject. I cannot emphasize enough how important this step is. It can be over the phone, in person, preferably in a form in which you can hear their voice and get an idea of how they speak.

What if they speak in monotone and never change their tone of voice or ever show emotion? They probably are not the person someone would want to listen to for 3 minutes. That doesn’t discredit their expertise or value, they could still be a great source for information or an interview for a written piece.

For audio you want to have someone engaging that draws the listener in. Especially because you do not have the visual aspect, their audio must be engaging and keep listener’s attention.

When pre-interviewing do not ask the exact same questions as you will ask in the actual interview, and do not provide the subject with your list of questions ahead of time. I usually just give them an outline of the topics I will cover.

You want to allow the interview to sound more conversational and less like they are reading a script of pre-written answers.

Asking good questions:

Before going into an interview, do your research! Research your interview subject, research what you’re going to ask them about and pre-interview your subject. This is the most important part.

Bring a list of questions to use a guide for the interview but do not feel as if you need to stick to it! If they say something that surprises you, voice that, ask follow up questions, challenge them on their beliefs and convictions. It makes for a more interesting interview.


Sources and further reading:

Transom – On Interviewing

Transom – Before the First Question