Arranging the Interview
1. Make a phone call to the person
2. Identify yourself and explain your reason
for calling
3. Ask for an interview
4. Agree on a time and place (give two
5. Express your appreciation for the
consideration you have been given
Planning Interview Questions
The Open-Ended Question
The Follow-Up Question
The Direct Information Question
The Yes-No Question
The Forced-Choice Question
The Telling-Back Question
The Open-Ended Question
Main purpose – draw out a topic for
discussion that is important to the person
being interviewed.
Advantage – lets the interviewee know that
you are interested in his or her opinion,
knowledge, and point of view.
Example – Why did you decide to learn to
play the guitar? (why / how questions)
The Follow-Up Question
Main purpose – used to get further information and
to lead an interviewee to expand on earlier
Advantage – this style of question is not pre-planned
and gives the interviewee feedback, letting him
or her know that you are listening.
Example – That’s very interesting. What are other
reasons you recommend that program?
The Direct Information Question
Main purpose – gives direct and factual
answers to a specific topic.
Advantage – this type of question expects a
direct answer.
Example – How much does a good guitar
The Yes-No Question
Main purpose – virtually requires a yes or no
Advantage – restricts the interviewee if you
do not wish a discussion on the matter.
Example – Do you know how to read music?
The Forced-Choice Question
Main purpose – requires the interviewee to
choose from a set of alternatives that you
Advantage – shows that you are prepared and
interested in the topic being discussed.
Example – Which do you prefer, sheet music
or tablatures?
The Telling-Back Question
Main purpose – to encourage the interviewee
to continue with a discussion.
Advantage – lets the interviewee know that
you heard and understand – may result in
further development of an idea or in a
simple yes or no.
Example – So, you’re saying that it is more
important to learn notes first, then chords?
• Research about the interviewee
• Research the topic
• Prepare questions – begin with two or three
easy questions (one word or yes/no) to
break the ice – ten major questions
• Plan a method to take notes or record the
• Plan a way to end the interview
Rules for Successful Interviewing
1. Always attempt to conduct interviews face-toface rather than over the phone – NEVER send a
2. Be punctual – be on time or early; never late.
Call immediately if an emergency prevents your
prompt arrival.
3. Dress appropriately – dress for the situation, but
always be neat. Good grooming conveys respect.
4. Always be prepared to take notes. Ask
permission to take notes before you start. Tape
recording requires permission.
5. Greet, show appreciation, restate the purpose
Rules (cont)
6. Listen Carefully! – if you don’t
understand, ask. Do not interrupt.
7. Know when to leave
8. Send a note of appreciation
Interview someone about playing a musical
In class, write 2-3 starter questions and ten
major questions (a copy is to be turned in).
Turn in your notes from the interview next