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Acing Interview Writing

Interview Writing
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Along with writing essays, there have been several other components of writing that are found. Reviews, critical essays, journals, all form a part of this writing world.

          Interview writing is a work of bringing to the audience a live interaction between the interviewer and the interviewee, in the form of words. You must have witnessed a lot of these in several newspapers where different interviews of several personalities are written, providing the audience a live image of the process. So how do we actually successfully complete our interview writing process.

          I remember, when I was in my eleventh standard, my teacher gave me a homework which was actually writing interview of a famous personality. That time she dictated us some points that provided me help in homework. I am going to share those points here so that ones who really need help with it can benefit:

  1. Step 1 in an interview writing is first taking an interview. This is a very important aspect in professional world wherein journalist are trained for the same. Let us not delve into those intricate details rather learn few simple and basic steps.
  2. Whenever you have to go for an interview with a person, acquaint yourself well about the person. Research well because this research would give you help with homework in the following steps.

For example: If I have to interview Ruskin Bond, I will first read in detail about his childhood, his early days, his education, his popular works, the awards that he has won and of course some important events of his life that left a mark and influenced his writing.

This process would help you frame your questions in a better manner, in fact also in cross-questioning the person. And of course if you have much knowledge about the person, you are bound to impress him or her and your interview process would become more comfortable and conversational.

  1. Include the accomplishments of the person in your questions and question the person on some major events of his/her life. That would offer a way for the person to open himself to the readers and put forth his or her viewpoint.
  2.  A day before your interview, make a set of questions and prepare a well researched questionnaire. You may make further improvisations as and when you like, during the process. But the initial focus should be on going well prepared. Do a proper homework on the person and your research work would provide you 100% help in homework.
  3. Don’t forget to take prior permission and appointment for the interview. The people to be interviewed, do not have all the time in the world to sit and engage in a question-answer session, therefore take a further appointment, specify the time your process may take so that the other person may make arrangements accordingly.
  4. On the day of the interview, do not forget to keep with yourself a notepad, a pen and most importantly, a tape recorder. These are the essentials so cannot be omitted.
  5. When you reach for interview, greet the person, get comfortable and start the interview. And once you are done, again greet the person, convey your gratitude to him or her for sharing the valuable time.
  6. Now when you sit down to out your work into words, first arrange the rough draft properly. While writing you note down points in a hurry so as to not omit a single point but when you have to formally produce it on paper, it should be well organized.
  7. Give your interview an attractive title. Title is the one thing that attracts the readers so make your title so creative that it captures the readers’ attention. Either quote a dialog or a line the interviewee spoke during the interview or some popular tag that the person is or has been addressed as. For example, in case of Ruskin Bond you could have began with The name is Bond: Ruskin Bond. The creativity of the title also hints at the creativity and efforts in your work.
  8. There are two ways to compile your interview- direct speech and indirect speech with some direct quotations. In case of the former you just provide a brief introduction and produce your interview as it is in the form of question and answers, as happened when you were taking the interview.

In case of the latter you frame the work in your own words, simply putting some direct words of the person you interviewed. So when writing in direct speech, the interview ahs to be in present tense and when writing in indirect speech, it has to be in past tense.

  1. If you plan to write in an indirect manner, you can also describe in a few words, the preparations you made for the interview, as well as your experience with the person. But this has to be very brief because it is interview writing and your views matter less than the person you engaged in conversation with.
  2. End on a positive note. This makes the interview more pleasing.
  3. Remember not to add or subtract points from the ones given by the person interviewed.

Thus these are a few points one must keep in mind while working on interview writing. Remember interviews form an important part of the professional world in writing. They are important both for the success of the interviewer and for the interviewee to communicate his views to the audience.

Nonetheless people take it very lightly which should not be done. For beginners and students, these are the basics that may help them with homework and also acquaint them with the world of professional writing.

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