Ask the coach: What’s the best place to conduct an interview?

Ask the Coach, Beth Mende Conny, your writing questions

Q: What’s the best place to conduct an interview?

A: Sometimes you don’t have a choice, given your interviewee’s location or schedule, or whether or not you need access to her files and other materials. Try, however, to choose a place that is as neutral as possible; namely, one where you would both be on equal terms. Out-of-the-way places work well you need privacy or need to avoid distractions. The more relaxed a setting, the more relaxed your subject will be.

Although it’s nice to meet over drinks or coffee, think twice before conducting an interview over a meal. It’s hard to eat and talk at the same time. Background noises make listening and taping difficult; taking notes can be tricky as well.

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