World Music in Melbourne #4

(featured image from Tyler Basu)

Conducting an interview can be tricky business. There are many factors to remember.

As an interviewer you should prepare for your interviews by doing background research on the interviewee and see if they have been interviewed before. If yes, see what questions they have been asked and try to think of different ones, or have a different spin on a similar idea. A big mistake in interviews is forgetting basic facts about the interviewee, such as their name, what they do and other basic facts that you are expected to know.

If you can avoid awkwardly forgetting who you’re interviewing, the next challenge is to get along with the person you are interviewing but not to get off topic or veer off from the reason you are interviewing them. One way to make sure you stay on track is to make a list of comments you want to talk about or even a list of questions. It’s alright to keep the conversation flowing but you will have some notes to refer to if you feel yourself getting carried away.

Some questions you might like to ask are:

  • How did you get to where you are now?
  • What message are you sending with your music?
  • What do you think makes you unique from other artists?

If you’re struggling to think of more questions you can always ask yourself what would you want to be asked if you were in their position. Other questions based of research can be good too as they will have more depth and it will show the interviewee you have research them or the topic you are discussing. You might want to mention previous interviews or reviews of the music, artist or venue being discussed.

Don’t forget about technology when conducting your interviews. Recording your interviews is a great strategy as you have them to refer to later with easy access. However, consider where you are conducting the interview, if in a public place that is quite loud or if you’re planning to use the audio, you will need a better recording device than your smartphones microphone.

Another use for technology is interviewing them through emails or over the phone. Although face to face is preferable, loud and busy venues are difficult to conduct interviews at, especially if contacting the venue owner.

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