The Art of Interviewing – Tip 6

– You can find the first five installments of this series in No. 2 Pencil’s category archive.

No. 2 Pencil

Work within time constraints.

There’s possibly nothing better for an interview than being able to spend an entire afternoon with one of your interviewees. Other than the stories in which I work a day in the life of a person, getting to spend a day with someone has been granted to me twice. Most interviews are constrained to about 30 minutes.

You have to learn how to work within those time constraints. Know before setting up an interview how much time you’ll need. If you need to write a feature on one particular person, 20 minutes with them will probably not be enough.

To determine this, first write out your list of questions. Estimate that it will take roughly 2 minutes for the person to answer each question. This completely varies, of course, but it’s a good place to start. Then always tack on an additional 5 – 10 minutes…

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