An interview essay is an informational essay that helps students get information first hand from people who are famous and infamous. This gives students the opportunity to understand the personality of the person and their opinions and views on a subject. This is a difficult essay and requires a lot of concentration. Students should be very careful when writing the interview essay since most of the essay would be in the interviewee’s own words, so quoting should be done accurately and should be very careful with punctuations as well. Majority of the students record the interviews on devices to make sure they don’t miss out on any details and they don’t quote something wrong. This is helpful when you write the essay.
Students should realise that the people they will be interviewing would be busy individuals and should make sure that the questions are in order and should keep a deadline on their time within the interview. The students should prepare the outline of the interview topic and arrange questions according to importance. Avoid any silly questions that would waste time.
When students write an interview essay, it should begin with an overview of the interviewee, accomplishments, history, or relevance to the topic being researched. This is followed by what the interview is about and what will we achieve from interviewing him/her. Students, once have introduced the interviewee, they should start with the interview questions. The questions should focus mainly on the topic(s) the interview is about and to the experience of the interviewee, try to make the questions as relevant to the interviewee’s own personal experience about that topic or subject. Different topics require different approaches to questions, at times an aggressive approach, sometimes a relaxed approach and at times giving space to change and flexibility in the interview.
Although there is no hard and fast rule for the sequence and exact questions to ask, at times you would find yourself stuck on one question for ages but that one question answered all the other questions directly or indirectly. This is called “involving the interviewee”. Let the interviewee speak and share their experiences.
In the body of the essay, the main focus is on the verbal discussion and quotations from the interviewee. Majority of the body will have direct quotations from the interviewee expressing their views on the topic being discussed. The student must try to recall expressions and body language of the interviewee as that will give a better picture to the reader in understanding the topic and the experience.
The third section of the interview essay should be the conclusion. This is where students need to inform the readers about their experience and what was the outcome of the interview. The conclusion should also confer to the requirements of the essay, did the interview meet the requirements or not.
Students should plan the interview, arranging, marking, sorting interview questions, response tables etc., as this saves time and data from the interview. Always keep a recorder during the interview since you need to be sure on what the interviewee is saying since they would be quoted directly.
Students need to remember that the interviewee has limited time to meet, ideally, 1 – 1.5 hours are more than enough to complete the interview. Students should try to stay as focused as they can to make sure they do not deviate from the topic.