Then, I switched to corporate communications. Interviewing was harder, more challenging. But I quickly learned that a really good interview was the secret sauce to writing a great story quickly.
Don’t view your interviews as nuisances or unwelcome obligations. Instead, here are 10 tips that will help make your interviews rock:
1. Make sure you interview the right people. It’s too easy to get sucked into interviewing the first person you find—or the one your boss suggests (usually a vice president). Instead, invest some time in identifying a floor-level employee who loves to chat. All organizations have a Chatty Charles or a Chatty Chelsea. Your job is to find them.
2. Start with the easy questions. Never begin an interview with your toughest, most crucial question. In music, that’d be a like a band opening their show with a cut from their brand new (unheard) album. No. They’re going to open with a crowd-pleaser, so they can build the right vibe. Start your interview with easy, friendly, questions. I like to begin by double-checking the spelling of the person’s name, job title, and email address. (This also ensures I have that info right at the top of my notes, which is frequently useful.)