How to Give an Interview

Alix Martichoux, a reporter for KGO-TV of ABC7 News in San Francisco, met with Ellen Pilon’s 8th grade Social Justice for a Changing World class.
The class is working on an oral history project, interviewing friends and family on what it has been like to live through a pandemic. Ms. Martichoux, cousin of Tayla S. ‘25, shared some key journalistic tips on how to give a great interview.

  1. Start your interview by checking in with the interviewee and explaining the story you are working on.
  2. Ask if it’s okay to record the conversation and then do not forget to hit record!
  3. Prepare questions ahead of time, but don’t be afraid to veer off script, going where the conversation leads you.
  4. Don’t forget to really listen. If you are actively listening it will lead to great follow-up questions.
  5. Be relaxed so the person you are interviewing will be at ease.
  6. Try to flesh out one-word or procedural answers by asking more personal questions like, “What were you thinking when this event occurred?” “How did it make you feel?” These kinds of questions can lead you to the heart of a story.
  7. At the end of the interview, be sure to ask if there is anything further the interviewee would like to add. Often, this can result in great quotes for your story.
Click here to watch the presentation.
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