The Other Side of the Recorder

I’m used to being the one in control of an interview.  I decide what questions to ask in what order and in what way to get the information I want.  So, when I was interviewed yesterday morning for a book about tattoos, it was eerie being… vulnerable… to the interviewers questions.

Often times when I conduct an interview, I can tell when the subject is uncomfortable or worried about my questions.  They may be weary of the spin I’m going to give their answers.  I never understood that until yesterday.  Basic questions about a tattoo made me uneasy about how the book writer was going to perceive my answers.  It’s all about perspective.

I also couldn’t help analyze and criticize her questions (or lack thereof).  She really only skimmed the surface of a topic that could have gone so much deeper.  Nor did she ask if there was anything we felt needed to be talked about.  It wasn’t my interview to conduct, so I didn’t add anything outside of her questions, but my cocky side kept making additions to her list in my head.

Interviews can be very delicate.  I always feel the need to organize the questions and conversation format before I go into anything just to make sure I get every little piece of information and detail.  Sure, often times the conversation goes in a different direction based on the information, but at least I have an idea of what I’ll need to be walking away with a head of time.  My interviews always seem to last a fairly good amount of time too, because I like to ask a lot of detailed questions in order to cover every aspect of the story if needed.  Having too much information is better than not having enough.

So remember, plan a head of time, organize, and ask everything you can think of.

-Haley L.




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