Steve Dawson was the first of our guest speakers during writers fortnight. As s sports journalist, working for Fox News, he often met famous celebrities; but instead of telling us all about them, he focused on the importance of the interviewee’s comfort. He was modest about his accomplishments and didn’t brag about all he had done. I thought it was really cool how he decided to pursue his dreams of journalism rather than an accountant, which is perceived to be a ‘better’ job.
His five tips were also really interesting and applicable:
1. Ask open-ended questions – good, because it’s much more of an interesting answer.
2. Set the answer free – doesn’t limit the interviewee’s options.
3. Don’t interrupt – super important when interviewing; it’s just irritating!
4. Be a single shooter – don’t ask two questions in one. if it’s important, ask it separately.
5. Listen to the answer – seems obvious, but one would be surprised.
and an extra one – be professional. Don’t be a fanboy/fangirl.
Steve Dawson did not only tell us about his experiences; he taught us how to ask a quality question – which is essential in nearly everything we do.