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« Xocolatophobia | Main | Useful online tools for freelance writers (Part 2) »

Interviewing Tips For Freelance Writers

As a freelance writer, I've had to interview a wide variety of subjects over the years for articles in print and online publications. I tend to prefer e-mail interviews, but I know there are some advantages to interviewing in person or by phone.

Survey: What about the rest of you? If you've conducted interviews for articles before, which type do you prefer? Do you have any tips to offer?

The Interview

Here's a list of some online advice:

Conducting Interviews by Moira Allen. A great article about what to do before, during and after the interview. Moira also covers tips on how to conduct e-mail surveys and interviews.

Chatting Them Up: Tips For A Successful Interview by Donna Freedman. An excellent, meaty article with tons of useful information about interviewing techniques, and includes feedback from many experienced interviewers.

Tips For Conducting In-Person Interviews by Jill Black. Example: "Don't ask stupid questions... and don't ask questions you can find out through research unless it's to confirm a point." Jill advises preparing a list of questions ahead of time, but also being open to new questions that may come up as a result of points raised in the interview.

Interviewing Tips by Jen Leo in her blog, Written Road. Example: "Be respectful. If they ask you not to write about something, don't. And keep your eye out for material they say that could be damaging. Just because they didn't say 'don't' doesn't mean you should anyway. Find ways to write about the good stuff without making them look their worst."

Ten Tips To Make Your Interviews Better by John Hewitt. Example: "A good interviewer doesn’t just ask questions, they listen to the answers."

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