Interview: Learning to Ask Questions and Listen to the Interlocutor

How to interview shy people and how to get answers from people who, despite having something to say, do not have the habit of speaking? The “ingredients” of a successful interview and how they can be used were the things the SAJ students learned from Mihaela Gherasim, reporter of TV project “Pur și Simplu” [“Simply”], produced by Radio Free Europe. From her, for five days future journalists learned to ask interesting questions, sometimes even uncomfortable, to choose the topic and the character relevant for an interview.

The course began with several general notions relating to interview as a journalistic genre. Students understood that acquiring information is the main element underlying an interview, learned to formulate questions correctly, discussed about planning and documentation, which come before any dialogue, and discovered several ways to interview an interlocutor. Then, the most interesting part of the course followed – practical work. Guided by the trainer, students did several works: they interviewed one of their parents about themselves, transformed a press statement into an interview, worked on documenting a personality and, finally, wrote their own interview.

In the end, during discussions that turned into debates, the ethical and deontological aspects of the interview were addressed. Mihaela Gherasim spoke to SAJ students about how a journalist should appear at an interview, how he or she should behave and what questions should better be avoided. “If a journalist can learn from his own mistakes, he is very likely to make a successful career in journalism and make a name for himself,” the trainer said.

According to students, the practical part of the course was useful and very necessary for them. Some of them had for the first time the experience of a face-to-face interview with an interlocutor. Student Andrei Cebotari admitted that he thus developed his non-verbal communication skills. “I really enjoyed this experience, and I will definitely use it in my work,” he said.