How Do You Write an Interview?

The two typical formats for interview writing are regular news style, in which the writer intersperses quotations from the interview throughout an article on the subject, and question-and-answer style, in which the writer presents the interview as a transcript. Both styles find common use in journalism and other writing.

In regular news style, the article generally begins with an introduction to the interview subject detailing why he is notable. The piece goes on to describe the subject in greater detail, typically focusing on a central theme that characterizes the subject. The writer incorporates quotes to illustrate his points and to provide examples of the subject’s personality. Quotations augment the writing rather than take its place. They serve to explain details from the article, rather than substitute for details.

In a question-and-answer interview, the writer presents an edited version of the transcript detailing the interview between the author and the subject. This style of interview typically opens with a brief introductory paragraph that explains the subject’s importance and may give details about where the interview takes place. The rest of the piece contains the interview transcript, which the writer often edits for flow and clarity. These pieces typically end with a quote that provides a conclusion to the overall interview.