Class

Nonfiction Creators 101: Interview Skills

Learn top-line interview skills to make sure every interview you conduct puts your subject at ease, so they can open up and share what you need to make your project a success.

6:30–8:30pm (Classroom 1)Note: This is a 3 part class (6 hours)This class has already started

If you're working in nonfiction—whether it's film, audio, or print—you're only as good as your interviews. And they're not as easy as the pros make them look: They are, quite frankly, inherently weird human interactions, with nerves often jangling on both sides. But good interview skills can make all the difference, the way a good host can make a great party. It's your job as an interviewer to steer the conversation and put your subject at ease to the point that they open up and share what you need to make your project a success.

In this course, we'll discuss the psychology of the interview, how to use it to your advantage (without necessarily compromising your subjects), how to get new information, and how to ask the awkward questions. The classes will be a dynamic mix of lectures, case studies of both successful and unsuccessful interviews, and group exercises.

Learn the best strategies for getting the best interviews from any subject, for any kind of story or medium. What kind of prep work goes into the best interview, beyond questions you want to ask? How do you help your subject get comfortable enough that they want to share everything with you? Discover how to go beyond the surface questions and get the good stuff. This course is best for those who want to strengthen their interviewing skillset.

What You Will Learn

  • How to use psychological principles to make every interview as smooth as possible.

  • How to get the information you need from every interview.

  • How to prepare for a great interview.

  • Practice interviewing in a supportive setting with feedback.

  • How to feel comfortable asking the most awkward questions.

About the instructor

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong spent a decade on staff at Entertainment Weekly. Her work has since appeared in many places, including BBC Culture, The New York Times Book Review, Vice, New York magazine, and Billboard. She’s the author of the New York Times bestseller Seinfeldia: How the Show About Nothing Changed Everything; a history of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted; and Sex and the City and Us: How Four Single Women Changed the Way We Think, Live, and Love. Her next book, When Women Invented Television, will be published by Harper Books in 2021.

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