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From a pipe burst to a bull's eye: the interview

How do you captivate your readership? Our copywriter Pamela shows you in her blog series "Five types of text - five ways to success". Today: The interview.

Copywriter Pamela Schefer takes a close look at five text types in her blog series.

Anyone who conducts interviews knows that nothing can really go wrong if the interviewer opens up, leans back and chats out of the closet. All too often, however, the interviewee has every word pulled out of his nose and his answers are shorter than the questions. So that an interview doesn't turn into a damp squib, you need good preparation in the first place.

The interview types

Preparation should take far more time than the actual interview and writing down the interview. It is important to know who you are dealing with. There are three types of interviewees:

  • The interview greenhorn: being interviewed for the first time, shy and afraid of saying the wrong thing. Experience shows that a preliminary telephone call can break the ice. The guiding questions sent to him in advance also help him to prepare and gain confidence.
  • The interview nerd: He likes to give interviews, but stays in his expert world and cannot explain complex issues easily. He overwhelms his counterpart with technical terms and gets lost in the details. A good conversation can only be achieved if the interview is conducted clearly and with persistent follow-up.
  • The interview professional: He talks a lot, understandably and focused. He sells himself well and knows what the readers want to hear. For the interviewer, this means even more preparation! You have to meet him at eye level and surprise him with unexpected questions and well-founded expertise.

Word for word or in the spirit of the interview?

Recording device or notepad - how the interview is recorded is a matter of taste. The notepad, however, simplifies the writing out of the interview enormously: For reasons of time, only essential statements are noted down, making later filtering unnecessary. But should you condense the interview at all or reproduce it word for word?

  • Condense: If the CEO comments on the IPO of his company or an infectiologist classifies the latest Federal Council decisions, repetitions and irrelevant statements should be deleted, the statements should be put in a logical order and formulated briefly and concisely.
  • Transcribe: Well-known personalities such as a Welsh Federal Councilor or a sharp-tongued musician should be transcribed verbatim. This takes up space, but gives the text more authenticity. Dialect expressions may be left as they are. After all, Chris von Rohr's "Meh Dräck" would hardly have made waves in High German.

Whoever now adds a meaningful sentence to the title can be sure of the readers' favor. He has cracked the greenhorn, tamed the nerd and impressed even the professional.

Published on 26. February 2021 by Pamela Schefer