Interview Techniques


An interview is when one or more people ask another person questions. An interview can be different in any situation – they might be used for celebrities to find out gossip or Police to find out what’s happened in an incident. They are both interviews, but have very different contexts and purposes, however at the end they are both to find out information. The most common type of interview, will be when a reporter, journalist or presenter, directs questions at either musicians, or TV stars (celebrities) to gain an insight into their life and to show the public more about these particular people. The bigger the person you can interview the better, as it brings in new audiences – if you interview a certain pop star, their fans will  be interested and watch the interview and therefore the interviews will gain a bigger audience.

The best type of questions to ask during interviews, are open questions. An open question is a question which will leave the answer to be more than just a ‘yes or no’ allowing the interviewee to elaborate on their answer and get more information out of them. However, a closed question is when the answer will be very short as their response could be left as yes or no. Therefore, it can be harder to word an open question – you could ask the same question open or closed, but get two very different answers. For example, ‘what have you got in store for the next year?’ is an open question, whereas ‘have you got much in store for the next year’ is closed. ‘What have you got in store for the next year’ is an open question because if you answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’ it wouldn’t make sense, and they therefore have to explain what they have got in store for that year. However, ‘have you got much in store for the next year’ gives the interviewee the option to just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and therefore not give anything away – which would defeat the purpose of the interview.

Some well known interviewers are:

Ellen DeGeneres

Fearne Cotton

Oprah Winfrey

Holly Willoughy

Laura Whitmore

Alan Carr

Jonathan Ross

Ryan Seacrest

Caroline Flack

Rick Edwards

The majority of these interviewers use humour to relax their interviewee and keep the interview casual. However, people like Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey often try and get a little more out of the person they are interviewing, by tugging on their heart strings and allowing the person/people to open up. Ellen DeGeneres usually keeps the interviews quite light, touching on only a few subjects to focus the interview and to try and get the most out of those people talking about specific subjects.

Here is an example of Ellen DeGeneres talking to Demi Lovato about her recovery from bulimia.


GirlsLikeGossip is an online YouTube channel I created with my friend, Katie. Our aim is to present our own web-shows as well as do interviews. We interview anyone from upcoming musicians, to international TV stars. Our interviews consist of many open questions so that we can gain as much information from the interviewee, we try to make the interview relaxed so that the atmosphere and tone is easygoing and casual yet still formal. We add humour in to the questions, especially as we have created our own round of ‘would you rather questions’ which make the interviewee’s feel more at easy and comfortable as they aren’t as personal or hard to answer. The questions allow the interview to be a lot more funny and also engaging as it is not a typical type of interview that you would find. We are also different in the sense that we don’t try to get anything really personal out of the interviewee, that a magazine might try to, we just ask general questions and focus on a specific topic, rather than us asking about their personal life and trying to find out gossip/new information so they feel more in their comfort zone.

This is an example of an interview we did with One Tree Hill star Tyler Hilton.


The main tips for Interviewing are:

  • Prepare your questions in advance
  • Only ask open questions – don’t ask closed
  • Check your body language and don’t fidget
  • Keep eye contact and really listen to what they are saying – it may lead on to new questions
  • Avoid speaking over the interviewee
  • Find a quiet location for the interview so that you have good sound – if there are any interruptions pause the interview and re-locate
  • Hold your microphone close to the subject

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