Healthcare Writing

Colleen Shannon, Freelance Medical Writer

Interviews

Great interviews

A good interview can lift any piece of writing. It’s essential to add human interest and even when you are researching a really dry piece, if you ask the right questions you may end up following a new and exciting path.

In advance
An interview is a brief opportunity so good preparation means you can make the most of it:

• Before the interview, agree how the quotes and information will be used.
• Send the questions in advance. People will be more open and have more facts.
• Do your homework. Learn about your topic and identify any potential sensitivities.

Ask the right questions
Ask closed questions (that could be answered with a “yes” or “no”) when you want to confirm facts. If you are fishing for something more interesting, ask open questions that will require a lengthier answer. Opinions are just as important as facts because they can reveal issues you were unaware of. Finish off by asking whether there is anything else they’d like to mention. Allow some time for this as it’s often the best part of the interview.

And of course, always remember to follow up with your thanks.