One of the most frustrating things for a digital media teacher is having students not prepared for an audio, video, or article project that involves writing interview questions. By not preparing good questions to ask your interviewee, the editing becomes much more difficult to tell the story.
Students need to have a plan and purpose for their interviews—preparation leads to great questions and conversations.
Here are five tips to use as a guide to writing interview questions for students in your digital media class:
1. Ask open-ended questions
This encourages more than a one-word answer to your questions.
Instead of, “have you had a good summer?” ask, “Tell me about how your summer has been.”
Some great question starters are:
“Tell me about…”
“What do you think…”
“Share a story about…”
2. Keep questions short
This ensures the interviewee isn’t lost in too many words of the question.
One exercise that you can do is to read your questions aloud before the interview to be concise and effective.
3. Use clear language when asking questions
Keep the language simple and clear during the interview.
Then during the podcast, video, or article, you can have fun with more detailed language or unique words.
4. Only ask one question at a time
Make sure you are not actually combining two questions where you run the risk of missing out on an answer from your interviewee.
This also helps you stay on track if you are on a tight schedule.
5. During the interview, be an active listener
Remember this is a conversation, not an interrogation. Be sure to make eye contact and nod your head.
Listen closely to what is being said and what isn’t, and ask follow-up questions to dig deeper.
By being an active listener, know that your interview is flexible because this allows you to ask the right questions at the right time.
Be sure to thank your interviewees! Doing an interview takes time out of someone’s day so don’t forget to acknowledge that and show gratitude.
Learn more about how you can apply these tips with your students in your digital media class using our new curriculum.