2/15/17 Chapter 3: Interviewing
- As you’ve seen in Chapter 3 of the text, the key to good interview is establishing rapport with your source. You’ve been assigned to do a profile of a new instructor on campus. You don’t know this person at all. How will you try to establish rapport?
Before anything else, I will do extensive research to learn everything I can about this new professor. Things like where they taught before, what they taught, what qualifications they have, why they left, their expertise, if they have any controversy, even hobbies outside of their job and opinions or belief system if the information is possible. Depending on where my research leads me, I may need to research other topics so that I am knowledgeable in the same fields the new instructor will be teaching. All this is important so that I am able to show my credibility and that I am capable of doing the interview and understanding what the interviewee discusses.
Making a good first impression is a great way to get off on the right foot with someone you’re just meeting. Chances are strong that I’ll be conducting the interview in the department hub, the professor’s personal office or somewhere on campus so I’ll dress appropriately. Being genuine and an attentive listener will make the person feel more open to speaking because they’ll know that I’m respecting their time and trying to write a truthful story. Reading the subject’s non-verbal’s and respecting the signals they send will help make them more comfortable and maybe allow them to elaborate more should they chose.
Telling the professor what story I intend to write will create an open platform for our interview. Checking with them about whether they’re okay if I record our interview can send the message that I don’t want to hide anything. Asking for a follow up interview and/or giving them a preview of the article and option to approve direct quotes I use will further drive home the point that I intend to tell truthful information. All of which is something people want be assured of in order to feel that they can trust their interviewer with the information they’ve given them.