Tips for interviews that work, part 2

May 11th, 2012 by worddrive Leave a reply »

Let’s say your source just can’t schedule a phone call. Usually this is true with someone who is extremely busy–and being extremely busy means either that they are disorganized or, better, that they are a leader in the field you are writing about for your newsletter. This means, of course, that they are just the kind of person you want to quote in your article.

The solution is to use email as a conversation. Start with a question, e.g. “Can you tell me why human factors engineering is such an important part of your field?” Real leaders will be so engaged in their work that most of the time they’ll be happy not only to answer your particular question, but to respond to follow up questions.

Your job is to provide intelligent and thoughtful questions that keep your source interested and stimulate a dialogue. If your curiosity is genuine, their responses will be, too (unless they are merely disorganized).

Good luck!

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