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  1. #51
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    In doing an interview you should be spontaneous on your question but still you have to prepare a basic interview like first the things you want to know about them and much better if you jot down what do you want to know about the person you are going to interview.

  2. #52
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    In interviewing a person, I think you must act professional and be confident on your questions and no doubt in your mind.

  3. #53
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    My blog's contents are mostly the interviews I took of people from different background and from last 6 months I took more than 40 interviews. I learned interviewing people from theadminzone.com interview forum where I used to read lots of interviews.

    I take care following things before taking interviews

    1. Detail information about the person I am going to ask questions.
    2. I do bit research on the person's professional background.
    3. I try to hold interview in my hand with questions related to the person's background.
    4. I keep in mind 3 most important people who is going to be involve in the interview or after the interview. That's me myself, the person who is interviewed and the readers who are going to read it. I have to keep the interest alive in all 3 people.
    5. I have to make the person comfortable with my questions.
    6. I should not go too personal in asking questions.

  4. #54
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    Can you guys show us some examples for successful interviews?

  5. #55
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    Smile

    However, I'm wondering whether there is a "one size fits all" interview, or whether interview questions and answers ought to be carefully tailored according to whether the majority of those likely to read the interview are readers who want to know more about the author, and some insider secrets behind the writing of the book, or writers who want to know what works for other writers in the sfr genre.

    I've just had the privilege of being interviewed by our Heather of Galaxy Express, who asks the best and most insightful questions ever! Also by Mandy Roth and Michelle Pillow, who ask a mean (in a good way) question or six.

    Almost every interviewer, whether for a craft site or a review site, asks which authors I believe have influenced me. My answer to that never changes. Now, I don't mind in the least being asked a question I can answer on autopilot.

    However, I cannot help wondering whether readers are interested. If so, why?

    Another question which I completely understand for writers' groups and craft blogs is which How-To-Write-Science-Fiction books I recommend. But, do you think readers who are not writers are interested?

    How much of a list is appropriate before a bibliography becomes boring?

    Don't we all list the same --mostly Writers' Digest published-- books and authors? The Physics of Star Trek - L. Krauss
    How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy - Orson Scott Card
    Conceiving the Heavens- M. Scott
    The Science of Star Wars- J. Cavelos
    World Building - Stephen L. Gillett
    Aliens and Alien Societies - Stanley Schmidt
    Writers Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe--George Ochoa and Jeffrey Osier


    If I have overlooked some superb resources, please do add other recommendations as Comments, and a brief word why they are tops in your opinion. I'll add them to a Listmania and give commentators credit.


    By the way, last evening, I made a Listmania list on Amazon.com because it is so much more fun to show cover art, and I did the same thing with a Top Ten list on Chapters.Indigo.ca

    (If anyone takes a look and likes my list or lists, a "Helpful" click would be much appreciated!)

    Moreover, if the authors on this list would like to put a "being interviewed tip" in the comments, maybe I could assemble a Listmania with their cover and their tip, and we'd have something helpful and promotional on Amazon etc.

  6. #56
    SitePoint Member eeonefivebee's Avatar
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    Be interested in them (and their products or services), you will soon come up with plenty to write about from what they say.
    Worrking for Walking singles
    http://www.wordsworthreading.co.uk Interview skills and help for job seekers.

  7. #57
    SitePoint Enthusiast Riklets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthiab View Post
    My first interviews, when I listen to the tapes, oh my! I talk more than my subject. Bad move. Don't be afraid of silence. Ask your question then shut up. Let them have time to answer.

    I'm sorry if I had to skip several posts but when I read this I was immediately taken back to my first few interviews. As an intern I've always been told that I should "ask the right questions" and I was always so confused as to what "right questions" are. If I already got the facts, what else is there to ask? When it comes to non-entertainment issues, looking for the right questions is easy but when it comes to entertainment it becomes more difficult because I have to be reminded that the questions have to incite interesting answers too.

    And when it comes to asking the questions I usually fall victim to talking too much too, thinking that the person I'm interviewing would have a hard time answering my question. So as preemptive measure I elaborate the question. bad move, I know.

  8. #58
    SitePoint Member lesterdonovan's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by zazo View Post
    My blog's contents are mostly the interviews I took of people from different background and from last 6 months I took more than 40 interviews. I learned interviewing people from theadminzone.com interview forum where I used to read lots of interviews.

    I take care following things before taking interviews

    1. Detail information about the person I am going to ask questions.
    2. I do bit research on the person's professional background.
    3. I try to hold interview in my hand with questions related to the person's background.
    4. I keep in mind 3 most important people who is going to be involve in the interview or after the interview. That's me myself, the person who is interviewed and the readers who are going to read it. I have to keep the interest alive in all 3 people.
    5. I have to make the person comfortable with my questions.
    6. I should not go too personal in asking questions.
    I agree. One thing to note is not all interviewees are thrilled at the thought of talking for really, really long. There are also some people who have a pathological dislike of questions being asked of them. To get around this, try to formulate your questions [if you have many] in such a way that one question will allow you to ask another that is seemingly still connected to the previous question, but may be already touching on a different aspect altogether. It gives a seamless transition that will make the interviewee feel that you have asked less questions than you really did.

  9. #59
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    My advice would be to try to ask things from an innovative point of view. Almost all interviews sound and look the same. Trying to go deeply to interviewed´s psychology always gives you good results. Public appreciates the human side of characters.
    Regards,

  10. #60
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    There are several things that make good interviews. I have a bit of a list based on bad interviews I have seen. I have seen the opposite of this list and it was not pretty.

    1)Know some good background material about who you are interviewing. You don’t, you will look like an idiot

    2)If you decide to ask more controversial questions, make sure you know how to reign it in.

    3)Let the interviewee do most of the talking, people are listening/watching to hear you.

    4)Don’t be rude…its harder to get the person to respond in a positive way.

  11. #61
    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    I asked a lot of questions in the early part of this thread and got some great advice.

    Since that time I have conducted 3 interviews and have a few more in the preparation stage.

    In each instance, I kept my questions focused, yet short as possible .. and non-presumptive. I tried to anticipate answers, then re-wrote the question in some cases .. to make them more flexible.

    1 - Expat repatriating himself and family to homeland. I had conversed with him a few times by PM on a forum. The whole interview took 3 exchanges. He really wanted to tell his story and it turned out great.

    On the website, I prefaced the interview with a few hundred words on the subject of repatriation then went into "Mike's Story".

    2 - Recent college grad who had accomplished something. Cheerleader, popular girl on campus. The interview almost didn't happen because she seemed to expect me to fly to the U.S. from Thailand and do the interview in person. I kept saying "email" and she kept saying "appointment".

    So I backed away. Almost 2 weeks later she contacted me and said email would be fine. The interview took 3 exchanges .. the 3rd was to send a copy of the finished interview for her approval.

    In retrospect, the best question I asked was something like. "Can you think of anything I should have asked that would be helpful to those reading your interview?"

    3 - Expat who has been able to gain Thai citizenship (there ain't many). I have known "about" the person for years and some of our fora exchanges have been less than pleasant.

    The interview started by my asking permission to use a re-written version of one of his forum posts. That seemed to mend some fences, then the interview was able to happen. It turned into a very nice 3-section interview.

    So thank's to all those who offered advice. Some of us take it and appreciate it.

  12. #62
    SitePoint Zealot naijaecash's Avatar
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    @old expat
    Nice of you to share your experience. I guess it might encourage me to go back to an unsuccessful interview I tried to conduct with a celebrity.

    The person wanted the interview conducted with each question being email to him. Of course, I suggested that we should use instant messaging as it affords the opportunity of clarifying any question that seems ambiguous. He refused.

    Because I wanted the interview badly, I agreed to sending one email per question. Eventually, I had to abandon the interview because on several occasion I had to rephrase a question twice because he claims he doesn't understand what I mean.

    It would have been a lot easier if he had agreed to us using chat. Having read through this thread, I've picked some ideas I need to put to test.

  13. #63
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    A good interview is one that uncovers and puts the interviewee in a whole new light

  14. #64
    SitePoint Enthusiast Alzbeta's Avatar
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    Probably an interview will turn out good, if the interviewer already has a list of what to ask during the interview and the interviewer must be friendly or should be nice so that the person being interviewed will feel very relaxed that way the interviewee was very please to answer all the questions with confident.

  15. #65
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    Always interview as a board of 2-3 expert. this also stree-test the applicant

  16. #66
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    How to contact? I always find that a good introduction from a common friend would do wonders for you. The interviewee would be more open to you and your questions. As for the actual interview itself, ask short concise questions and come up with great followups. That's the way to keep it engaging!

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbabi18 View Post
    A good interview is one that uncovers and puts the interviewee in a whole new light
    not every interview has that goal.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alzbeta View Post
    Probably an interview will turn out good, if the interviewer already has a list of what to ask during the interview and the interviewer must be friendly or should be nice so that the person being interviewed will feel very relaxed that way the interviewee was very please to answer all the questions with confident.
    while having a list is good for you to keep track of the things you want to know, it shouldn't be the be all and end alll... learn to be spontaneous, these questions should act only as a guide.

  19. #69
    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naijaecash View Post
    @old expat
    Nice of you to share your experience. I guess it might encourage me to go back to an unsuccessful interview I tried to conduct with a celebrity.

    The person wanted the interview conducted with each question being email to him. Of course, I suggested that we should use instant messaging as it affords the opportunity of clarifying any question that seems ambiguous. He refused.

    Because I wanted the interview badly, I agreed to sending one email per question. Eventually, I had to abandon the interview because on several occasion I had to rephrase a question twice because he claims he doesn't understand what I mean.

    It would have been a lot easier if he had agreed to us using chat. Having read through this thread, I've picked some ideas I need to put to test.
    I think a lot of people, especially clebs, have been victimized by interviewers and want an opportunity to see how their answer looks before they submit it.

    Did the person give any hints about what parts of your question they did not understand? One thing I just thought about relating to this .. might be a good idea to type out your questions then try them out on a friend .. see if the friend seems to understand what you are trying to get at.

    I always worry about being too verbose .. and at the same time, asking a simple clear question. If your questions are too general, they may confuse or fatigue your subject.

    We can read our own minds .. others can't .. usually!

  20. #70
    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jghejhfd View Post
    Always interview as a board of 2-3 expert. this also stree-test the applicant
    That's exactly what we need .. a stressed-out participant!!

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    I think your suggestion to send the questions ahead of time is an excellent one. You might also, at that time, ask your interviewee to jot down anything he/she would like to talk about that you didn't ask.

    but maybe not though. for example you wouldnt do this if they had already talked about everything that they wanted to do would you? or if you ran out of time. just a few very simple points really. sor

  22. #72
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    Wow! What a neat post! Thanks for sharing some of your experiences!! Kind of a dream job for me!

  23. #73
    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    Shyflower >> I think your suggestion to send the questions ahead of time is an excellent one. You might also, at that time, ask your interviewee to jot down anything he/she would like to talk about that you didn't ask.
    but maybe not though. for example you wouldnt do this if they had already talked about everything that they wanted to do would you? or if you ran out of time. just a few very simple points really. sor
    I think Shyflower was referring to emailing the subject a series of proposed questions for an interview yet to be conducted.

  24. #74
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_expat View Post
    I think Shyflower was referring to emailing the subject a series of proposed questions for an interview yet to be conducted.
    Yes I was and also if you are conducting an interview by email. For instance, I use a questionnaire for all new clients so that I can get to know a bit about their business as well as the information they want in their content. I often find they have more to say than my questions cover.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  25. #75
    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    Because of the nature of the interviews I do .. all by email .. and because I am not a skilled interviewer, my interviews generally require a series of 2-4 exchanges of email. The last question I always include in the first email to the subject will be along the lines of, "What Other Information Do You Think ..."

    That can result in additional and valuable information .. even a sub-topic or additional separate topic.


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