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THE INTERVIEW CHEAT SHEETS

Introduction: The following set of questions has been designed to aid you in conducting an interview. You may copy it for your own use and should always keep a spare copy at work.

Our copyright still applies, so don't make copies for others, but feel free to send them this link: Radio Mall's Free Interview Cheat-Sheets.

When given advance notice of an interview, select only the questions you find appropriate and use the last page to write your own. It's impossible to do too much research before an interview, but in many cases you will not know enough about the subject. Even if you know nothing about the person you're interviewing, don't strictly read questions off the sheet. Listen to the person and try to create your own questions based on what they're telling you. Ideally, you will only use the sheet when you can't think of anything yourself. Sometimes you'll notice two questions in a row that are very similar. That's done to give you an option of using one of them.

Interviewing tips:

If at all possible, obtain biographical material on your subject before the interview.  Thanks to Google, there's no excuse for not doing your research.  Don't be afraid to ask a few questions before you go on the air or start the tape rolling.  Use that time to find out about any new projects the subject will want to talk about.  Record all live interviews. Even if it's only a minor star, you'll have it to replay when they make it big.  Off the air, ask musicians and authors to autograph their records and books. It's an inexpensive way of getting valued items for giveaways. As best you can, forget about the microphone and the fact that you're on the air.

A good way to start off is to welcome your guest, or explain to the audience that you're excited to have the chance to talk to your subject.  Loosen the subject up by starting with the least controversial questions.  Maintain a delicate balance between asking the questions your audience wants to know about and talking to the subject one-on-one.  During a longer interview, occasionally use the subject's name, especially when it sounds natural to do so. (If you're interviewing Mick Jagger, say, "Who are Mick Jagger's heroes?") That way the listeners who join the interview in progress will know who you're talking to.  Watch your subject closely. If you ask a question and his or her eyes light up, try to ask more questions along those lines.

Be confident, but check your ego at the door. Let your subject be in the limelight. Every once in a while, an interview will bomb. If you've got an unresponsive subject, bail out. Better a short chat than a major tune-out. Remain in control. If it's going longer than you want it to, you can always wind it up by saying, "Thanks for talking with us...we'll see you at the show," or whatever is appropriate.

It's been said a million times, but it's still true: Have fun with it. If you sound like you're having fun, the listeners will have fun, too. Unless you're interviewing someone who just wrote a book on the Holocaust, you might as well have a good time. Enjoy!

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

 

_____ WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?

_____ WHAT DO YOU LIKE LEAST?

_____ HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS?

_____ SHOULD YOUR PARENTS HAVE BEEN MORE OR LESS STRICT?

_____ HOW WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD?

_____ ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

_____ IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?

_____ IF YOU HADN'T BEEN BORN IN THIS CENTURY, WHEN AND WHERE WOULD YOU

LIKE TO HAVE LIVED?

_____ WHO ARE YOUR HEROES?

_____ WHO DO YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR?

_____ WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

_____ ARE YOU POLITICALLY ACTIVE?

_____ DO YOU DO ANY VOLUNTEER WORK?

_____ HOW HAS AMERICA CHANGED IN THE LAST TEN YEARS?

_____ HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED?

_____ WHAT'S THE SIDE OF YOU THAT THE PUBLIC NEVER SEES?

_____ DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL THAT THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT

________________? (SUBJECT'S NAME, PLURALIZED)

_____ DO YOU WISH YOU HAD MORE PRIVACY?

_____ DO YOU THINK THE PUBLIC AND CRITICS EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM YOU?

_____ HOW HARD DO YOU PUSH YOURSELF?

_____ WHEN ARE YOU COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH YOUR WORK?

_____ WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A FIELD WHERE SO MANY OTHERS HAVE FAILED?

_____ WHAT'S THE MAGIC FORMULA FOR SUCCESS?

 

Page 2 (C) Copyright 2014, Dave Dworkin's Ghostwriters. 2412 Unity Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55422-3450. 763-522-6256. WEB SITE: http://radio-mall.com

 

 

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS, PART 2

 

_____ WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT REINCARNATION?

_____ HOW ABOUT ASTROLOGY?

_____ WHAT ABOUT LIFE ON OTHER PLANETS?

_____ WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?

_____ IS THERE A BATTLE OF THE SEXES?

_____ WHO'S WINNING?

_____ ARE WE RETURNING TO A MORE ROMANTIC TIME?

_____ HOW DO YOU DEFINE MACHO?

_____ DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE TRADITIONAL ROLES FOR MEN AND WOMEN?

_____ IF YOU WERE A MAN (WOMAN) HOW DIFFERENT DO YOU THINK YOUR CAREER

WOULD HAVE GONE?

_____ WHAT'S THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE RUMOR EVER PRINTED ABOUT YOU?

_____ WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR LIFE?

_____ DO YOU WORRY ABOUT WHETHER PEOPLE LIKE YOU FOR THE REAL YOU, OR

BECAUSE YOU'RE A CELEBRITY?

_____ DO YOU MAKE FRIENDS EASILY?

_____ WHICH DO YOU ENJOY MOST: A NIGHT ON THE TOWN OR STAYING IN WITH

THAT SOMEONE SPECIAL?

_____ WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PIG-OUT FOOD?

_____ WHAT DO YOU DO FOR EXERCISE?

_____ WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM?

_____ DO YOU THINK AMERICANS PUT TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON COMPETITION?

_____ IF YOU WERE PRESIDENT, WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU'D DO?

_____ SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT __________________(SUBJECT'S NAME) HAS IT

ALL. WHAT DON'T YOU HAVE?

 

 

Page 3 (C) Copyright 2014, Dave Dworkin's Ghostwriters, 2412 Unity Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55422-3450. 763-522-6256.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR MUSICIANS

_____ WHAT'S THE FIRST SONG YOU EVER REMEMBER HEARING?

_____ WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO LATELY?

_____ WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ALBUM BY ANOTHER ARTIST?

_____ WHAT SONG OF YOURS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

_____ WHY?

_____ ARE THERE ANY SONGS YOU'VE DONE THAT YOU WISH YOU HADN'T?

_____ IS THIS YOUR FIRST ALBUM?

_____ HAD ANY OF YOU RECORDED WITH OTHER GROUPS BEFORE FORMING ______

_____ HOW LONG IS THIS TOUR?

_____ IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE OUT ON THE ROAD AND NOT EAT ANY JUNK FOOD?

_____ PEOPLE HAVE THE IMAGE THAT IT'S NON-STOP PARTYING OUT THERE. IS IT

TRUE?

_____ ARE YOU MARRIED OR INVOLVED WITH ANYONE?

_____ IS IT HARD TO MAINTAIN A RELATIONSHIP WHEN YOU'RE OUT ON THE ROAD?

_____ WHEN DO YOU GO BACK IN THE STUDIO?

_____ WHAT DOES YOUR CONTRACT RIDER CALL FOR IN TERMS OF BACKSTAGE

AMENITIES?

_____ WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING IF YOU WEREN'T A MUSICIAN?

_____ OTHER THAN THE PEOPLE YOU'RE WITH NOW, IF YOU COULD GET ANY

MUSICIAN, LIVING OR DEAD, WHO WOULD BE IN YOUR "DREAM BAND?"

_____ (FOR GUITARIST ONLY:) HOW MANY GUITARS DO YOU OWN?

_____ HOW MANY SONGS IN YOUR HOME COLLECTION?

_____ HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CENSORSHIP?

_____ DO YOU CENSOR YOURSELF? HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN ANYTHING AND THEN

DECIDED IT WAS TOO HARSH?

_____ WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?

 

 

 

 

Page 4 (C) Copyright 2011. Dave Dworkin's Ghostwriters. 2412 Unity Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55422-3450. 763-522-6256.

 

QUESTIONS FOR AUTHORS

 

_____ HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED WRITING?

_____ WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS WOULD BE YOUR PROFESSION?

_____ WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR?

_____ WHY?

_____ ARE THERE ANY WRITERS WHOSE SUCCESS MYSTIFIES YOU?

_____ DO YOU READ MORE FICTION, OR NON-FICTION?

_____ WHAT ARE YOU READING LATELY?

_____ WHAT ARE A COUPLE OF YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOKS?

_____ CAN AN AUTHOR WRITE FOR THE PULITZER AND THE PUBLIC AT THE SAME

TIME?

_____ PUBLISHING HAS BECOME BIG BUSINESS. HAS THAT HURT?

_____ WHAT INSPIRED YOUR LATEST BOOK?

_____ DO YOU THINK TELEVISION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ILLITERACY?

_____ WHEN YOU GO TO SEE A MOVIE, DO YOU TRY TO READ THE BOOK FIRST?

_____ MANY SCHOOLS HAVE BANNED CERTAIN BOOKS FOR VARIOUS REASONS. WHERE

DO YOU THINK THE LINE SHOULD BE DRAWN?

_____ HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITER'S BLOCK?

_____ HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN ABOUT YOUR OWN BAD HABITS?

_____ DO YOU EVER FEEL FORCED TO WRITE?

_____ HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF A PUBLISHER WANTED TO CONDENSE YOUR WORK?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 5 (C) Copyright 2011, Dave Dworkin's Ghostwriters. 2412 Unity Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55422-3450. 763-522-6256.

 

 

 

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR ACTORS

 

_____ WHO DO YOU ENJOY WORKING WITH THE MOST?

_____ WHO IS THE HARDEST TO WORK WITH?

_____ HOW MUCH DO YOU DRAW ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE WHEN YOU ACT?

_____ WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU FIND YOURSELF ACTING IN YOUR REAL-LIFE

RELATIONSHIPS?

_____ IF YOU COULD STAR IN A RE-MAKE OF A CLASSIC FILM, WHO WOULD YOU

WANT TO PLAY?

_____ HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT NUDE SCENES?

_____ WHEN DOING A LOVE SCENE, DO YOU IMAGINE YOU'RE WITH SOMEBODY ELSE?

_____ DO YOU THINK THERE'S TOO MUCH VIOLENCE IN TV AND MOVIES?

_____ WHAT WORK ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

_____ IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'D DONE THAT YOU'D LIKE TO BURN ALL THE COPIES

OF?

_____ ARE THERE ANY ACTORS WHO TURNED OUT TO BE NOTHING LIKE YOU THOUGHT

THEY'D BE?

_____ IF OSCARS WERE FOR SALE, HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY FOR ONE?

_____ WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU TOLD A LIE?

_____ HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE COLORIZATION OF OLD BLACK AND WHITE

FILMS?

_____ WHEN A SCENE CALLS FOR YOU TO DISPLAY HATRED, WHAT DO YOU THINK

ABOUT?

_____ WHAT WAS YOUR MOST CHALLENGING ROLE?

_____ HOW MUCH OF HOLLYWOOD IS SUPERFICIAL?

_____ ARE YOU OFTEN COMPARED TO OTHER ACTORS?

_____ ARE THE MOVIES BETTER THAN EVER, OR ARE THEY WORSE?

_____ WHY DO PRODUCERS FEEL THEY HAVE TO SPEND $100 MILLION TO MAKE A

FILM?

 

 

 

 

 

Page 6 (C) Copyright 2011, Dave Dworkin''s Ghostwriters. 2412 Unity Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55422-3450. 763-522-6256.

 

 

 

OUTRAGEOUS QUESTIONS

 

_____ WHAT'S THE MEANING OF LIFE?

_____ OTHER THAN THIS INTERVIEW, WHAT'S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU'VE EVER

AGREED TO DO?

_____ IS THERE LIFE AFTER MARRIAGE?

_____ DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS INTELLIGENT LIFE ON EARTH?

_____ WHEN THE ALIENS LAND ON EARTH, WHY WILL YOU BE THE FIRST PERSON

THEY TALK TO?

_____ DO PEOPLE THINK YOU'RE MACHO?

_____ IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL...WHAT ANIMAL WOULD YOU BE?

 

DJ DISCRETION ADVISED!!!

(USE THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AT YOUR OWN RISK)

_____ HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU LOST YOUR VIRGINITY?

_____ HOW WAS IT?

_____ WHAT'S YOUR MENTAL EQUIVALENT OF A G-SPOT?

_____ WHO REACHES IT?

_____ DO YOU CARRY PATERNITY INSURANCE? (FOR MALE SUBJECT ONLY)

_____ DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE KINKY?

_____ DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE JOKE THAT YOU CAN TELL ON THE RADIO?

_____ WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU TURN OFF THE LIGHTS?

_____ WHO COULD YOU SPEND A YEAR SLEEPING WITH WITHOUT GETTING BORED?

_____ ARE YOU SEXUALLY AGGRESSIVE OR PASSIVE?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 7 (C) Copyright 2011, Dave Dworkin's Ghostwriters. 2412 Unity Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55422-3450. 763-522-6256.

 

 

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR SPORTS FIGURES

(WITH THANKS TO C.J. BRONSON, FORMER KNBR-AM ANNOUNCER AND GIANTS JUNKIE.)

_____ HOW'S YOUR ARM? (OR KNEES, SHOULDER, HAMSTRING, ETC.)

_____ ARE YOU COMING OFF AN INJURY, OR HAS THIS BEEN A PRETTY HEALTHY

SEASON FOR YOU?

_____ WHO WAS YOUR SPORTS HERO WHEN YOU WERE A KID? HOW ABOUT NOW?

_____ IF YOU COULDN'T PLAY _____________________,(SPORT) WHAT WOULD YOUR

NEXT CAREER CHOICE BE?

_____ ARE THERE ____________________(SPORT) GROUPIES?

_____ WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO AN ASPIRING _______________(SPORT)

PLAYER?

_____ HOW MUCH TIME IS SPENT ON THE ROAD?

_____ IS IT DIFFICULT FOR YOUR FAMILY?

_____ WHAT'S A FAVORITE CITY TO PLAY IN? HOW ABOUT LEAST FAVORITE?

_____ HOW IMPORTANT ARE THE FANS TO THE PLAYERS?

_____ WHO WOULD BE ON YOUR "DREAM TEAM?"

_____ WHO INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST IN YOUR EARLY YEARS? HOW ABOUT NOW?

_____ WHO'S AUTOGRAPH WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE?

_____ GIVEN THE EARLY RETIREMENT AGE OF MOST ATHLETES, WHAT DO YOU THINK

YOU'LL BE DOING AT AGE 45?

_____ HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED A CAREER IN BROADCASTING?

_____ WHAT DO YOU DO TO MAINTAIN YOUR FITNESS DURING THE OFF SEASON?

_____ WHAT EXPERIENCE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO LEAVE THE GAME WITH?

_____ MOST SPORTS WRITERS WERE NEVER PLAYERS. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE

CRITIQUED REGULARLY BY PEOPLE WHO'VE NEVER BEEN IN YOUR SHOES?

_____ DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SPORTS WRITER OR COMMENTATOR?

_____ HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A GOOD MENTAL ATTITUDE?

_____ ARE YOU A FAN OF "SPORTS PSYCHOLOGISTS?"

_____ WHO DOES IT GIVE YOU THE MOST PLEASURE TO BEAT?

_____ WHAT'S THE BEST WAY YOU COULD END THIS SEASON?

 

 

Page 8 (C) Copyright 2011, Dave Dworkin's Ghostwriters. 2412 Unity Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55422-3450. 763-522-6256.

 

QUESTIONS FOR COMICS

_____ IS IT TRUE THAT ALL COMICS HAD MISERABLE CHILDHOODS?

_____ IT'S BEEN SAID THAT COMICS HAVE INFERIORITY COMPLEXES? TRUE OR

FALSE?

_____ HOW DID YOU GET ALONG WITH YOUR BROTHERS OR SISTERS?

_____ WHAT'S THIS YEAR'S BEST POLITICAL SCANDAL?

_____ WHICH PUBLIC FIGURE MAKES YOUR JOB AS A COMIC EASIER?

_____ DOES ALL COMEDY SPRING FROM THE TRUTH?

_____ DO YOU EVER GET STAGE FRIGHT?

_____ HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH TELLING A JOKE THAT BOMBS?

_____ WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE COMICS?

USE THIS SPACE FOR YOUR OWN QUESTIONS:

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Page 9 (C) Copyright 2011, Dave Dworkin's Ghostwriters. 2412 Unity Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55422-3450. 763-522-6256. www.radio-mall.com

763-522-6256 or 800-759-4561    info@radio-mall.com

 

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