Any interview is a great way to learn about the person, his or her opinion about a particular question, as well as knowledge or experience on a particular topic. In our article we will go through the steps of how to write up an interview essay, what are some points you should pay attention to as well as include an example of an interview paper.
What Is an Interview Paper?
To know how to write an interview paper, what are the interview paper formats, it is important first of all to understand the meaning of an interview paper. An interview paper or essay is an essay that shows different aspects of the topic by using the information gathered while interviewing a variety of people. Unlike other types of essays where the information is gathered from the materials or is a personal experience or knowledge, in an interview essay you use the data collected during the face-to-face interview. No matter who was your opponent, the essay should be presented in a narrative form.
How to Write an Interview Paper?
Many have doubts regarding how to turn an interview into an essay and what should be done beforehand. Before you start an interview writing you should:
- Select an idea or a topic of an interview that is interesting for you.
- Choose the person for your interview. Remember that the person should be a professional in the chosen field with a rich background. For example, if you are writing about the events of the WWII and ask your parents, they will tell you what they know from books or school, but this is definitely not what your instructor was asking for. Instead, find a veteran who was actually on the war and you will get the answers from the primary source.
- Find as much information as you can about the subject before the conversation, so during the interview, you will have a clear understanding of the topic.
- Prepare questionnaires that will help you to conduct a smooth interview.
- Choose an interview essay format – question/answer, narrative, or conversational.
- Pick the date, time and location that is suitable for you and the interviewed person.
- Make a record of the interview, so you will not miss any detail as well as keep notes, so it will be easier to navigate during the interview.
- After the interview analyze the results. You can sort them by:
- first the ones you agree with than the ones you disagree with;
- positive than negative;
- least interesting responses, the most impressive, etc.
- Prepare an interview essay outline that you will follow.
- Write the essay based on the notes and information gathered during the interview.
- Proofread and edityour essay to exclude any typos, mistakes, or irrelevant information.
How to start an interview essay?
Before you start writing the whole essay you should understand how to write an interview paper Introduction and what should be included.
It is known that the Introduction is like a door to your paper where you present the readers your paper, tell them what are they going to read about. But, how to start an interview essay in a way that is compelling and captivating?
For example, in a paper, whether emergency medical help should be given to anyone despite the fact if a person has insurance or not, you could start an essay with a description or scenario when a badly injured man was delayed from getting assistance just because he didn’t have any insurance. You can use some description, like describe the man, the hospital, the statistics, and end up with the question you were asking to interviewees.
Another scenario is to start an essay with a famous quote, or a quote of a famous person that is related to the subject of the interview, for example, a quote of the president or a famous actor.
In preparing any interview Introduction make sure to include a thesis statement. If the interview aims to support an idea or a point of view, the thesis statement will be a statement where the name of the interviewee is inserted inside the context. For example: “According to John Johnson begging is an easier way to make money rather than a necessity to survive.” If the purpose is to present the interviewee, your thesis statement might be a brief introduction of the person with his background. For instance: “John Johnson was brought up in a poor family where parents could hardly find the money for food, so he, like no one else knows about poverty and begging as a way to survive.”
Interview essay format
Depending on the interview essay format and style there are 3 main types that can be used:
Narrative formatis used to present the information descriptively. When you write an essay in a narrative format you should pay attention to:
– An Introduction should be catchy with a powerful hook that will make the reader want to read the paper till the end;
– The Main Body normally has 3-5 paragraphs with the presentation of the information gotten during the interview;
– A compelling Conclusion will navigate and direct the reader to the discussion.
The conversational format is the least formal format that can be used in magazines or some school assignments. In this interview-style paper, you can address the reader directly and use the first and second person.
The question-answer format is the best for TV shows and some magazines as in this form the interviewee’s responses and presented right after the questions. In the sense of writing it looks the following:
(Me): Do you believe that people should help beggars on the street?
(John Johnson): In my opinion, not everyone who is begging actually needs money, as for some of them it’s the way to make money, like work.
As you see the information is presented as quotes, however, such points as names of people in the interview can be written in the brackets as well as some explanations in parenthesis.
How to conduct an interview
Coming to the interview well prepared gives you confidence in achieving the results. If you interview several people, you can prepare a list of questions that can feel up during the interview.
Name of the interviewee: John Johnson
The main question: What is your opinion on a new TAX reform that will be implemented in January?
Questions to get the interviewee’s opinion on the main question:
– Why do you think so?
– What are your reasons to think so?
– What about those who have another opinion on the question?
– Can you please on examples explain your point of view?
The quotation that can be added from the interview: “I believe that the new TAX reform will benefit those who get lower salaries and discourage others to work hard”.
Interview Essay Outline
Before you start the interview you should keep in mind the structure of your discussion as well as the structure of the essay.
Introduction is needed to present the main topic, interviewee as well as to catch the reader’s attention with an interesting fact, quote, or information. A thesis statement that is included in the introduction has to present the main idea.
In the Body make sure to list the reasons in the order that is more suitable for you, for example, you can start with the opinions that you agree on and end up with the confronting ones, or vice versa. Don’t forget to use quotes of the interviewees, paraphrase some ideas, compare if necessary. Try to connect the background or some information you know about the person with his opinion. For example, if the interviewee had an experience when he got medical help without any insurance in a foreign country, he can support an idea that anyone who needs emergency help can get it.
Unlike other papers, Interview essay Conclusion is your response to the interview, where you sum up the ideas by pinpointing whose viewpoint is more valuable and why. Don’t worry if none of the opinions go along with yours; just mention that in your conclusion.
As you can see the interview essay outline is not that complicated and in our next paragraph, we will show how to write an interview essay on example.
Interview Paper Example – Question/Answer Format
Now when you know how to write an interview paper, how to start an interview essay and what should be included, it’s time on the example to see how these rules can be implemented.
We were taking an interview for Challenge Magazine with John Johnson, whose new book is the best seller for the past 5 months.
John Johnson and I met after his autograph session in Friends Café talking about his “Laughing Out Loud or LOL” which is the best seller for the past 5 months. We started from his school life and dream to become a writer; how he was rejected by the writers club, as he was told had no talent to write; his ups and downs. Now after 6 years of hard work, all his effort is paid off and he is a recognized writer.
The Interviewee: When you were a child, who would like to be?
John Johnson: I don’t know why, but I always wanted to become a writer, like William Shakespeare or Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I remember when I was reading their works I was imagining how I will end “Romeo and Juliet” or “Faust”. I was always sharing with my mom and she was the one who suggested me to express my ideas on paper.
I.: Did you try to write at that time?
J.J.: Funny enough, I made some attempts, but I always thought that they were not good enough. When I decided to join writers’ classes, I thought I would learn things that would inspire writing. Unfortunately, I felt bored after the second class and decided to forget about it until I graduated from university.
I.: What happened after graduation?