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Top 5 Press Interview Questions for the Candidates with Intelligent Plan

Preparing for the Press Interview

It is always proper to go prepared for a press interview with a brief list of questions written down on paper. The interviewer’s first task is to secure facts about the earlier career of the subject which may throw light on the later course of his career. It will scarcely be useful to ask questions about the date of birth, place of birth and education, unless the answers throw some light on his present status. In case of a press interview, say with Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, who was at one time, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, it will be useful to note such details but the main thing would be to get Mrs. Thatcher to tell the interviewer something very intimate and of interest to the reading public about her school life, its vagaries, and influences on her career : all about her parents and their influence on her career, etc.

In a press interview with Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, what is salient in his life must be discovered and represented with originality. Hence the questions put to him would not be : “Where were you born ? Where were you educated ?” —and so forth. A good interview may follow the course cited below:

Q.1. Do you think that the influence of your father was greater than that of your mother ?

Q.2. Did you feel even in your early school life that you had a scientific bent of mind ?

Q.3. What was your first marked achievement in the field of science ?

Q.4. What measures would you suggest for the encouragement of scientific research in India ?

Q.5. Why have there been very few Indian scientists who have made a significant contribution to the development of science ?

Intelligent Plan

We now give below some useful instructions which may help an interviewer in recording, arranging and presenting his material.

(1) Study pictures of the person you are going to interview.

(2) Never go out of the field of his interest. “It is a mistake to suppose that because a man has distinguished himself in one field, he will be an authority on any other. Interview a distinguished physician on the endocrine glands, but do not expect him to talk intelligently and with originality on labour problems, and do not try to get expert criticism on music and its appreciations from a person whose sole interest in life is politics. The mistake is frequently made.”

(3) Acquaint yourself thoroughly with the career, interests prejudices and hobbies, etc., of the person to be interviewed.

(4) Make sure that you are well-informed about the subject on which a celebrity is to be interviewed. If possible, draw out a list of questions to be asked. Arrange them in a logical order. Then proceed step by step.

The methods of conducting an interview vary according to the person, place and time. Read carefully the instructions given below :

  1. Don’t forget you are the Interviewer. You may give some information on the subject only when it is necessary to start or stimulate the conversation.
  2. Try to keep the atmosphere of the interview as informal as possible otherwise you will not be able to draw out the interviewee. Therefore, avoid any unnecessary mention of the word “interview”.
  3. It is always better to approach the subject indirectly. Get a man to say something about his hobbies or on some topic in which he is specially interested, and then lead him on to the main point.
  4. Don’t make your interview plan rigid and inflexible. If the interview, which started to be a factual news interview, does not develop satisfactorily, you may change its purpose to a personality or a feature interview. Make mental and written notes accordingly.
  5. Sometimes the person interviewed wishes to be quoted verbatim. In such a case, you cannot do without a note-book. Otherwise, avoid as far as possible, to use a note-book or the too-apparent note taking since this often hampers smooth flow of the interview, and makes the atmosphere rather obtrusive and formal. If note-taking is necessary, do it as unobtrusively as possible. It is always advisable to listen attentively and, as soon as the interview is over, you may record your impressions or take notes on essential points. 6. Brevity is the soul of wit. You must be brief.
  6. You must be tactful in asking questions so as not to offend the interviewee. Your questions must be put in a simple, lucid and direct form.
  7. You must be upright and unbiased.
  8. In concluding the interview ask him if you may communicate with him for an additional information, which may be necessary in writing the story. You may even suggest that he should look over the final draft of the article before it is sent for publication to ensure accuracy of the quotations and their interpretation.
  9. Summing up, while conducting the interview, it is very essential that you should try to win the sympathy of the interviewee as without complete trust and confidence, without sincere appreciation on both sides, this kind of interview must be purely negative. A positive result will emerge only if the interviewee can be persuaded to talk and to talk freely. In the end, remember the common rules of a successful press interview : Be Brief Be Helpful and Be Tactful.


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