Interviewing

October 03, 2019

Writing a good interview article is not easy.

You need to ask the right questions. A good interviewer is more of a psychologist than a writer. It takes a lot of emotional intelligence to truly understand the interviewee: the motives, the personality behind the mask, the life choices… you can’t get a glimpse of the other person without warm compassion. Getting in the shoes of someone else requires a long research process that could be called virtual stalking. The better the details, the more real it feels.

A badly written interview is a monologue where the interviewee answers pre-determined generic questions. A great interview results from a deep dialog between a writer and an individual, a form of maïeutic where the writer brings out the best, or the worst, in someone.

Interviewing is not innate and it takes practice to get good at it, which is the personal reason why I initially joined the content team at Makerlog and why I’m shortly launching a blog at 200 Words a Day to interview fellow writers.

As an introvert, it’s a huge challenge. I’m still experimenting with how I perform my interviews: with or without video calls, with or without pre-determined questions, writing tone and format… the interview process is hard to streamline, it requires a lot of time, patience, and willingness to experiment.