There's no question: a better interview will always result in a better feature for your yearbook. But, how do you make sure your interview is top notch? Wouldn't you know it, Pictavo has some tips for you!
Interviewing should take place in person if at all possible. Building rapport is easier in person and you’ll be able to see body language and note if your questions are making the person you're interviewing relaxed, uneasy or disinterested. Your subject can’t or won’t answer questions effectively/interestingly if they’re anxious or bored. If this appears to be the case, change the way you're delivering your line of questioning.
Your first questions should set your subject at ease. Remember to be gracious for the fact that they’re sitting down taking time to talk to you. The point is to get them to open up and share information whether in the form of facts or anecdotes. They’ll do this only if comfortable sharing with you. Sometimes questions don’t have to be questions. Conversational prompts like “tell me about a time when...” or “tell me more about...” will keep the interview from feeling like a line of questioning.
It's a good idea to go into an interview with a loose idea of your angle but don't lose sight of the fact that you need to write an informative piece that accurately represents the interview. Even if you're surprised by the direction your interview takes, stay focused and set your personal opinions to the side.
As long as you answer the 5Ws (and usually an H, too), you will walk away from your interview with enough content to create an excellent feature for your yearbook!
Wrapping up your time together with “is there anything you’d like to add?” will ensure your interviewee feels heard. Allowing them to add information that your questions didn't touch on shows that you are willing to report on their whole story, not just an angle you'd like to focus on. When you both walk away feeling like it was a comfortable and positive experience, it's very likely your subject will be willing to meet with you or answer questions for you again at a later date.