Essential Interviewing Tips

APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY RELEASE FORM - You must have your subject sign a release form!

  • Test all your equipment before the interview.
    • Make sure everything is working and you know how to work everything. Don't fumble with equipment while you are setting up for an interview. That will not make a person feel at ease.
  • Be mindful that whoever you are interviewing is giving you the gift of:
    • their time
    • their knowledge
    • their image - they are trusting you to be responsible with their image
  • Before you start the interview:
    • explain the project
    • ask if s/he has any questions
    • explain the interview will be edited and they can pause to think of their answer or repeat an answer
    • explain you may only use a few minutes of the actual interview
    • tell the person you will email them a link to the final project
    • ask them to sign a release form (you can do this before or after the interview)
  • Encourage the person to look at your during the interview. For Zoom, put the camera at eye level.
  • Make sure you are listening to the interview and not looking at your notes (it is suggested to put your notes away until the end). You can only ask good follow-up questions if you are listening.
  • Use non-verbal communication and try to leave your voice out of their answers. Also, try to leave a second in between you asking a question and their answer.

Resources on Interviewing for a Documentary