What other interviews do you have

What is an interview?

Interviews are led by reporters (e.g. journalists, reporters) conversations with known people or experts in a field. The questions mostly concern current topics or the person himself.

For publication in newspapers, magazines or the Internet, the conversations are recorded and then processed as text.

Interviews are informative texts and belong to the Factual texts.
So you read it when you want information on a specific topic.

Examine interviews

In order to understand interviews properly, it is sometimes not enough to just look at the content to pay attention to.

Likewise, you have to language, the ask as well as the effect and the intention of the interview.

The next few pages give you a few tips on how to easily examine and understand interviews.

Content and language of the interview

The content of an interview is usually divided into Factual information and Personal information.

Therefore, if you are working with an interview, the first thing you should do is the Collect factual information in bullet points and then also write down the things that you learn about the feelings and opinions of the interviewee.

Based on language you can also see whether it is factual information or emotional statements.

Notice whether the interviewee positive or negative on the subject. For example, whether he / she is promoting something or using irony.

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The questioning techniques in interviews: open questions

At the heart of an interview are the questions that the reporters ask. With the help of correct questioning technique can do the whole interview steered and ideally the journalists succeed in getting their interlocutors to make particularly interesting statements.

A distinction is made between different questioning techniques:

Open questions ...

  • begin with a question word and
  • enable detailed answers.

One differentiates:

  • Initial questionsthat encourage the interlocutors to tell something about themselves:
    - What is your favorite city?

  • Opinion questionswho ask for the personal opinion of the interlocutor on a certain issue:
    - What do you think of Facebook buying competitor WhatsApp for $ 19 billion?

  • Questionswith which you can deepen or ask about a topic:
    - How did that work exactly?

Closed questions

Closed questions …

  • begin (mostly) with a verb,
  • often lead to short answers (yes, no),
  • but also to clear statements.

One differentiates:

  • (simple) closed questionswho ask about a specific issue:
    - Are you for or against the use of smartphones and tablets in class?

  • Control questionsthat you ask to make sure you have understood something correctly or to receive a clear statement from the interlocutors:
    - Did I understand you correctly that in addition to your normal job, you volunteer in a sports club?

Semi-closed questions

Semi-closed questions ...

  • contain an introductory part that can influence the response of the interlocutor.

One differentiates:

  • Balcony questions, which precede the question with an informative explanation and thus narrow down the answer of the interlocutor:
    - Learning platforms offer some tools to make it easier to organize lessons. What do you make of it?
  • Questions of authoritywho confront the interlocutor with an official source or criticism and thus "force" a reaction without attacking them personally:
    - A study has shown that learning platforms are particularly helpful in the area of ​​project work. What do you think?
  • introductory questions, with which you address the interlocutor personally and thus signal that the question should be answered personally:
    - Mr. Mayer, do you work with digital media in your class?

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Effect and intention of the interview

Interviews are made up of different establish guided.

On the one hand, you just want to use it in a daily newspaper, for example to inform or with an article about a celebrity to chat.
On the other hand, interviews can also be used for an action or cause advertise or they criticize.

So it is important that, in addition to the content, you also pay attention to which effect who have questions and answers about you in the interview. Whether the opinion on the topic is positive or negative, whether it is advertised or criticized.

Questioning attitude

Also the Questioning attitude of the reporter can provide information about the purpose and impact of an interview. Depending on how a question is “packaged”, it shows the interviewer's own opinion.

One differentiates:

  • critically distant
    - Hybrid cars show hardly any advantages over normal cars. They are often expensive and their range is too short for long-distance drivers. So what do you think speaks in favor of buying these cars?
  • neutral
    - What is your opinion on the subject of hybrid cars?
  • positive benevolent
    - More and more drivers are interested in practical hybrid vehicles. What is your point of view on this matter?


When examining interviews, you can use the following key questions as a guide:

  • Is it about factual or personal information?
  • How is the questioning technique: open, closed or semi-closed questions?
  • What is the aim of the survey: to inform, advertise or criticize?
  • What is the interviewer's attitude towards questions: critically distant, neutral or positively benevolent?

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