Douglas Wolk, a journalist and critic who has written for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Village Voice, Slate, Blender and just about everywhere else, says that the best interviewees are those who are unscripted, who can digress, and who have some kind of theoretical perspective on what they do, and can explain it.Whew! Apparently I can stick with my endless babble mode. :-) The rest of the piece goes on to talk about five different kind of good interviewee -- I'm not sure if I fall into any of these categories, but it's something to aim for, at any rate. Right now, the hardest thing for me in interviews is not answering the same questions that do come up over and over again with canned answers. How to keep those answers fresh? It's a challenge...
The worst are people who try to answer questions as briefly as possible, Wolk adds. Were happy to sift through everything you say to find the interesting stuff. You dont have to give us a yes or no.
The only good interview is a lively, unpremeditated conversation, says Robert Campbell, architecture critic for the Boston Globe. The worst is a Q&A session with the interviewee measuring every word.
Hey, if you like, you can listen to that Chicago Public Radio interview and see how I did. :-) They did edit it down, but to seventeen minutes, not ten. Which I think is a good sign.