In recent times some local presenters [TV and Radio] have come under fire for making their guests uncomfortable by prying into their private lives.
Easily, some argue that Public Figures or Celebrities lose their rights to privacy once their popularity begins to soar. There are arguments that the public is entitled to every seedy detail of a morbid affair or irreparable vice.
I beg to differ, more because many of these interviews seem designed for the sole purpose of tainting a Celebrity. What it does expose however, is the interviewer’s lack of tact and interviewing skills.
I watched many Larry King interviews growing up and still do [Thank God for DVDs]. I also read about his early beginnings on radio and I do think his views will help the next interviewer with a supposedly “controversial” guest.
Before those, let me ask a few questions:
How much of your guest do you know, besides the malicious gossip on blogs and co.?
Do you conduct in-depth research about the person you are interviewing so that you can use the knowledge about their life and career to enhance the quality of the interview?
Do you ask open-ended questions, which allow the guest to contribute as much detailed information as they would like and in turn which allows you as an interviewer to follow up with probing questions?
Do you listen attentively to your guest and not ask any questions that your guest has answered in response to a previous question?
To the last question, once an interviewee goes “Like I said before…”, you’ll realise how terrible that makes the interview.