7 tips for conducting better interviews

Running an interview can be daunting, but these tips will ensure your conversation bears fruit—and will help everyone relax and enjoy the ride.

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Interviews can strike dread in the hearts of interviewers and interviewees alike.

As PR pros take on more roles traditionally fulfilled by journalists, many are conducting interviews to source stories and provide in-depth content for their websites and media relations efforts.

Remember: It doesn’t have to be scary.

Humans are naturally inquisitive creatures and while you’re no doubt there to tease information out of your subject, no one likes the idea of being interrogated. So, rule number one: If you’re conducting an interview, approach it like you would a normal conversation.

If you’re putting someone in the hot seat, these tips will help to make the interview more useful, informative and even enjoyable.

1. Do your research.

This may seem blindingly obvious, but it’s a big one.

If you’re interviewing someone, be sure to read up on who they are and what their experience is—especially if they’re someone with a public profile. What do you know about them already that you could potentially use to tease out a sound bite? Have they worked with someone else of note? Do they have an exciting project in the pipeline?

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