In essence, the knowledge of how to write an interview report is a main necessity for numerous professions, such as social workers, managers, and journalists. In fact, the ability to conduct an interview and write an interview report may be of assistance to many people in different spheres of life. Hence, to make the writing process effective, it is important to follow a number of steps that will help to develop the basic skills of how to write an interview report.
Holding an interview is a rather time-consuming activity that needs many preparational activities. First, an interviewer has to research the subject he or she is going to discuss and compile a list of questions. Even though the interview will also demand some follow-up questions, the list will become of great assistance. It is worth noting down the thoughts and impressions right after the interview since it is complicated to remember all the detail after some time passes. In addition, while conducting an interview, one can use the tape recorder to be able to provide direct quotes of the interviewee.
There is a choice of either questions-answers or narrative format while deciding on the appearance of the interview report. In case it is an assignment given by another person, a writer has to clarify the demands with him or her. If the requirements are not specified, an interviewer has the right to choose the one that better suits the particular case. A question-answer format is a good variant when an interviewee is a talkative person, thus, the writer will have many quotes to use. In the opposite case, it is better to follow a narrative format. Surely, both of these types have their peculiarities which a writer has to keep in mind while adhering to either of them.
The questions-answers format, which is often referred to as Q&A, should start with an introduction paragraph, in which the writer introduces the figure of an interviewee. It also includes the information about the place and the circumstances of the interview as well as the general information about the topic that was discussed. The introduction paragraph is followed by the body part that presents the questions of the interviewer and the responses that he or she received from the respondent. Concerning the formatting of an interview, each question and answer follows the initials of a person who uttered the sentence or paragraph. However, there is no need to use any quotation marks in this format. It is a good idea to summarize everything with the conclusion paragraph, though it is not required.
The narrative format gives a writer an opportunity to present all the notes that were taken both before and after the interview. Similarly to the questions-answers format, the narrative interview should start with an introduction explaining interesting details to the target audience. The main part presents the descriptive overview of the interview and includes the quotes with the appropriate punctuation. The conclusion paragraph looks much the same as in the questions-answers format but is obligatory and constitutes a logical ending of an interview report.