Of the four different types of information gathering, the interview is the most unreliable. The first time the interview was used in the newspaper was in 1836 by James Gordon Bennett. Since then, newspapers have changed forever.
Now, before you interview someone, you must do your research. Thankfully, with the Internet this has become much easier. You must pay attention to details, such as the setting of the interview and the person being interviewed. Your goal is to have accelerated intimacy. To build a quick and deep relationship with your subject.
Phase one of the interview is the introduction. You get to know each other. Next, you adjust. You ask yourself, “Am I getting what I need?” Then, you have a moment of connection. You must connect in order to get an accelerated relationship with them.
Now you’re settling in. you’re subject is enjoying the interview and maybe he or she sets their briefcase down. Before you know it, you have a revelation. The subject opens up and says things they never though they would. They can’t believe what they’re telling you- but it just keeps coming out. You want to keep encouraging more revelations so you use comments such as, “I didn’t know that,” or, “Tell me more about that.” Those responses keep encouraging your subject to throw up more information (sorry for the graphicness).
Lastly, a wrap up. You put your notebook away and continue to talk to your subject. This puts them even more at ease and makes them believe you are genuinely interested in them and what they have to say.
Practice with a friend or colleague and perfect your skills. Good luck with your interviews!