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Last Updated: Friday October 07 2005 15:48 GMT

Huw's interview tips

Overview

Huw Edwards

The winner of a Press Pack competition is spending this week at Newsround, learning the ropes from one of television's most experienced journalists - Huw Edwards.

Amongst other skills, Huw lets Press Packer Lauren into the secret of conducting a good interview.

In this lesson, students receive similar instruction. They pick open questions and learn how to make the most of an interview.

Learning aims

By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:

  • Ask open questions
  • Conduct a successful interview
Ice-breaker

PRESS PACK: INTERVIEW TUTORIAL
NR presenter Rachel Horne

ICT-based activity: 'Telling a story with interviews' interactive tutorial

Explain to students: The best way to say what's happened in any story is to ask people to talk about what they have seen or done.

You can do this by interviewing them. It's not as easy as it sounds though because getting people to answer questions fully in interviews can be tricky.

The key is to ask open questions that begin with Who, What, Why, Where and When. These get longer, more interesting answers.

There are four types of you should NOT ask:

1. Closed questions with only a 'yes' or 'no' answer
2. Questions that are too complicated to understand
3. Questions that contain incorrect facts
4. Questions that are too personal

Students click on the link in the blue box to play Telling a story with interviews on the Newsround Press Pack Club website.

In the interactive tutorial, students interview Newsround presenter Rachel. They choose five questions from a list. The aim is to keep Rachel talking for at least two minutes. (Remind students to look at both pages of questions in the tutorial.)

Students should aim to reach a score of 60 per cent or more. They can re-play the game if they wish.

Packed with games, interactive tutorials and quizzes about the world of journalism, the aim of the FREE Press Pack Club is to give children the skills to produce fantastic reports, for both the web and TV.

After creating a mini-reporter and being assigned a virtual editor, students gain points with every activity to earn some special prizes such as spending the day in charge of the Newsround team!

Non-ICT-based activity

Students select five open questions from the worksheet. (Click on the link in the blue box.)

As well as being open and keeping Rachel talking for as long as possible, the questions must NOT:

  • be too complicated to understand
  • contain incorrect facts
  • be too personal
Here are a list of the best questions to ask:
    What does a presenter do?
    How did you get to be a presenter on Newsround?
    What's the hardest thing you've ever had to do?
    What do you like doing when you're not at work?
    What's your favourite thing about Newsround?
Main activity

PRESS PACK: INTERVIEW QUIZ
Find out about the Press Pack

ICT-based activity: Interview quiz

Students click on the link in the blue box to take the Telling the story with interviews quiz.

There are ten questions about how to conduct a successful interview.

Students should aim to reach a score of 60 per cent or more. They can re-take the quiz if they wish.

Non-ICT-based activity

Students answer the questions on the worksheet. (Click on the link in the blue box.)

Give the students feedback by clicking on the link to the answers.

Extension activity

Drama activity

In pairs, students prepare two interviews:

  • An example of a bad interview with closed, complicated and irrelevant questions
  • An example of a good interview with open, clear and well-researched questions.
Pupils take it in turns to be the interviewer and the interviewee.

Plenary

Make a class list of tops tips for interviews. Use the information in the Teachers' background (below) for inspiration.

Teachers' background

Telling a story with interviews

The best way to say what's happened in any story is to ask people to talk about what they have seen or done.

You can do this by interviewing them. It's not as easy as it sounds though because getting the best out of people in interviews can be tricky.

The key is to ask open questions. These are questions which encourage the person to talk a lot and give long answers.

Here's our guide on how to carry out a successful interview.

Before the interview

Think carefully about why you want to interview this person and what you want to know. An interview is not a conversation. It should have an aim and it should be structured.

Do your homework - find out about the person and write some questions before you go; this will also help you stay calm.

Take the right equipment - you will certainly need a notepad and pen to make notes of what your interviewee is saying. You could also record the interview on a personal stereo or minidisc as this will let you listen back to the interview later to check any info you might have missed.

Prepare the interviewee - chat with the person and make them feel comfortable. Tell them why you're doing the interview and what you would like to cover.

At the interview

Take charge - be confident in your interview and don't be afraid to ask the question again or to get the interviewee to repeat what they have said.

Avoid closed questions where the interviewee can answer just 'yes' or 'no'.

Ask open questions that begin with: Who, What, Why, Where and When - these get longer, more interesting answers.

Listen carefully to the answers - the interviewee may answer your next question before you have asked it.

Use body language - Always make eye contact with the interviewee and let them know they have your full attention.

Take notes - it will be hard to remember everything they say when you finish and of course you have to make the facts in your report are accurate.

Remember what your interview is for! - do you only need to ask one or two basic questions, or do you need to ask lots of different ones to get more information?

Thank the interviewee - you never know when you might need to interview them for another story?

Follow these basic rules and you'll be an interviewing ace before you know it!

Curriculum relevance

English / KS 2&3 / En1 Speaking and Listening

2f. Ask questions and give relevant and helpful comments.

The numbers refer to the KS3 National Curriculum Programme of Study for English.


For hundreds more news-based stories, click on Teachers on the left-hand side.



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