After the interview

Jotsna Rajan


Last updated on Jan 31, 2023

Posted on Jan 31, 2023

The interviewer should feel that it has been an enlightening experience that has provided a contribution to the listener's understanding and appreciation of both the subject and the interviewee. If the interview has been recorded, it should be immediately checked by playing back the last 15 seconds or so. No more, otherwise the interviewee, if they are able to hear it, is sure to want to change something and one embarks on a lengthy process of explanation and reassurance. The editorial decision as to the content of the interview as well as the responsibility for its technical quality rests with the interviewer. If, for any reason, it is necessary to re-take parts of a recording, it is gener- ally wise to adopt an entirely fresh approach rather than attempt to recreate the original. Without making problems for the later editing, the questions should be differently phrased to avoid an unconscious effort to remember the previous answer. This amounts to having had a full rehearsal and will almost certainly provide a stale end product. The interviewee who is losing track of what is going into the final piece is also liable to remark ... and as I've already explained...' or... and as we were saying a moment ago...'. Such references to material which has been edited out will naturally mystify the listener, possibly losing concentration on what is currently being said.

If the interview has been recorded, the interviewee will probably want to know the transmission details. If the material is specific to an already scheduled programme, this information can be given with some confi- dence. If, however, it is a news piece intended for the next bulletin, it is best not to be too positive lest it be overtaken by a more important story and consequently held over for later use. Tell the interviewee when you hope to broadcast it, but if possible avoid total commitment.

Thank the interviewee for their time and trouble and for taking part in the programme. If a journey to the studio is involved, it may be normal to offer travelling expenses or a fee according to station policy. Irrespective of how the interview has gone, professional courtesy at the closing stage is important. After all, you may want to talk again tomorrow.

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