How to Get Good Quotes From an Interview

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Whether it’s your first interview or your twentieth interview, capturing the words of your source is incredibly important. Quotes are present in stories to grab the reader’s attention, evoke images, and make your article credible. The person or people you interview are your primary sources, and they are what make your words seem trustworthy to an audience. Capturing the important information is key, so here are some steps to take when conducting an interview!

Prep:

1. Know your topic
Whether you pick your topic or get assigned to it, make sure you have an angle. Then, do some research on the topic and decide who would be best to interview.

2. Research your source(s)
Knowing whom the person is and general information about them not only prepares you, but also makes you seem professional when it comes to interviewing your source. Information about the source(s) can also help you write questions that will be useful and relevant to your article. Being prepared for an interview, whether with time or on the fly, will benefit you greatly.

3. General Questions to Ask
Having a general set of questions to ask gives your interview structure, and can also lead to other questions. When it comes to general questions, the 5 W’s (who, what, where, when, why) will never fail. NEVER ask yes or no questions, always open ended ones. This way, you have more to go off of instead of a simple “yes” or “no.”

Now your officially prepped for your interview!

The Interview:
No one person can predict how an interview will go, but the most important thing is to be prepared. When a source gives a vague answer that can be specified, ask follow-up questions. Lastly, be an active listener. When you show your source that you are interested and really listening, they will be more inclined to open up to you.

When choosing what quotes to put into your article, think about which ones are the most interesting, grab the reader’s attention, and relate to what you’re writing. Always make sure to have the correct spelling of your source, including titles. With this, your article will have great quotes that are credible!

-Hannah Lavine

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