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Lesson | 50 Minutes

Art of the Interview


Preparation and practice are the keys to a successful interview and amazing story. The goal of the interview is to get soundbites that connect with your audience, illuminate the topic, and move your story forward. This lesson can be used alone or in conjunction with:

Central Questions

  • What makes an interview successful?
  • How can you prepare for an interview to ensure you get the footage you need for your story?

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to write and ask good questions
  • Understand the importance of research and preparation
  • Practice listening
  • Learn how to use empathy and curiosity to guide a conversation -- critical communication skills for journalism and for life

When Would You Use this Lesson?

This lesson is used when your students are ready to record a remote or in-person interview.

Media Literacy Connection

Interviews are central to most stories you see in the news. By doing an interview, students will have a much deeper understanding of the process, challenges, and decisions made by reporters and editors. These are all critical parts of media literacy and understanding the different elements of journalism that result in the video, audio, or text story that you find online.

Civics Connection

Practicing interviews will help students understand how people talk with one another and explore different perspectives. Additionally, students who go outside their school walls and conduct interviews with local leaders, experts, etc. are engaging with their community in powerful and meaningful ways. Interviews help students follow their curiosity, go beyond textbooks and google, and gives them a tool to explore topics in real-world situations.


A conversation between two or more people where the purpose is to gather information and facts. The interviewer asks questions and the interviewee provides information based on their knowledge about a specific topic or issue.


The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. A generally definition is the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. In media-making, creators can have empathy for their subjects and the audience can empathize with the characters.


A short extract or clip from a recorded interview, chosen for its relevance to the story, pungency or appropriateness.

Writing - Research to Build and Present Knowledge

Speaking and Listening - Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Reading - Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

Language - Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

Determining Helpful Sources

Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of view represented in the sources, the types of sources available, and the potential uses of the sources. (NCSS D1.5.9-12)

Writing - Text Types and Purposes

Creative Communicator

Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals. (ISTE)

Gathering and Evaluating Sources

Whether students are constructing opinions, explanation, or arguments, they will gather information from a variety of sources and evaluate the relevance of that information. (NCSS D3.1.9-12 - D3.2.9-12)



Media Literacy

Digital Literacy/Citizenship

Broadcast News











Estimated Time

50 Minutes