Creating interview questions, like writing, is said to be an art. The success of your endeavor lies in what to ask each individual with whom you speak.
A prepared program of action is the most helpful tool in focusing in on the points you wish to bring out in each person’s session. Below are suggestions suitable for someone active in writing.
This fun activity serves many purposes. In a writer’s life, it’s great to be singled out, and then to see your responses on a popular Web site.
This is yet another form of a personal Biography. If it appears on an immensely popular Web site, consider it a great publicity. Don’t hesitate – if asked; jump at the chance for an interviewing.
If it appears on ANY Web site, the person being interviewed will enjoy a certain degree of popularity for being chosen for an interview.
If you plan to do the interviewing, it’s wise to have a list of interview questions from which to choose, questions that would apply to your subject and what you wish to make known about that person.
Have them complete and return it.
Analyze it for completeness.
If changes must be made, make sure you and your interviewee are in full agreement before posting anything anywhere.
Below is a list of interview questions from which you may choose for your specific interview questionnaire.
I’ve grouped them by category or sections rather than throw out random interview questions. That’ll make it easier for you to find the interview questions you wish to use.
Many, many interview questions are listed. You will not use them all and should never try. But it’s nice to have choices.
Your interview will be regulated by time constraints if you go live. If you publish your interview questions and answers on a Web site, you are limited by page constraints.
Choose your questions wisely.
Since we are a writer’s Web site, the interview questions below focus on interviewing writers or others related to the industry. You can change the wording in any question to suit you needs.
First, introduce the person whom you are interviewing.
State the purpose of the interview because, especially in published written format, the person and their product is listed at the top.
When you tape a live interview, you'll need to let people know who they are hearing about. Just because you don't jump right in and talk about their book or product is no hindrance. When people know your subject, that's enough to encourage their attention.
Stating the reason for interviewing when you begin lends direction to the questions and answers.
Next, perhaps you want to focus on a person’s unique job or career. But you won’t want to jump into the interview questions without helping your reader or listener get to know the subject.
It is wise to give a little personal information first, through interview questions and answers.
You can say write something like:
Then you lead into the personal questions.
Below is the personal section of interview questions from which you might choose.
Some of the these may seem similar. It’s only to give a variation of wordings.
When interviewing, it is also okay to ask very personal questions, again depending upon the purpose of the interviewing.
After the personal questions is where you begin to introduce the reason for interview.
When directing the responses toward the reason for the interview, inject some comments. The reader or listener will better understand why you switched from personal aspects to business topics.
Perhaps you might say something like:
Then you move right into the next set of questions. Again, arrange these in any order. Pick and choose.
At this point, introduce the main reason you are interviewing the person.
If you plan to publish the interview on a Web site, of course, you will attach the book icon and title, and a photo of the author, at the top of the page. You’ll also install good links leading to that person’s Web site, sales pages, and so forth.
Your questions up to this point should have set the focus. Now get right to the point.
The next part of the interview should focus on the main topic.
Next, move into some general questions.
The temptation may be to put more business questions into the first part of the questionnaire. Resist the urge. The time spent answering all those questions before the main event may put your reader or listener to sleep.
Save some interesting questions for after the big announcement, when people feel some rapport and want to know more.
At this point, the interviewing needs to change courses. Rather than talk about the author’s immediate project, get into her or his personal opinions about aspects of the writing world.
You accomplish this through changing the types of information you seek.
Next, go into some of the opinions this writer has that will help others in their careers. Interviewing is a good place for authors and writers to give back.
NOTE: When interviewing, wisely choose whom to interview. Interviewing can bring out hidden qualities in a person. One person may not wish to impart words of encouragement. They could care less. When interviewing, weed out those types and move on to the next interesting person on your list.
The next set of queries posed should encourage the interviewee to contribute some knowledge to others.
End the interviewing with something personal, even philosophical, about the person.
Of all the interview questions, these are the last words the reader or listener will get from the interviewee.
Most of these questions can be re-worded to suit the type of interview you may wish to do. These questions are a great place to begin.
Please read any interviews posted on this site. More and varied questions can be found in the interviewing I’ve done. Add those to your list of interview questions.
When preparing your own interview questionnaire, feel free to copy and use any or all of these that I’ve listed.
Become familiar with the interview questions so that you know exactly which ones to use when building your interview questionnaire.
Interviewing is fun!