The journalistic interview in theory and practice.   At the core of both courses is a role-playing interview with one of the trainers acting as interviewee. We analyse the interview to examine how trainees present themselves, their body-language, whether they have established a rapport with the interviewee, how they structure their questions, and how well they follow up the answers. The basic course stresses the importance of preparing for the interview and setting a coherent agenda. It also discusses the etiquette and conventions of interviewing, understanding terms such as on and off the record, whether to use a notebook or tape-recorder, and what to do when the recorder goes wrong.

The advanced course also involves a role-playing interview, but this time the delegates are likely to encounter problems: their interviewee may prove garrulous or taciturn, evasive or discursive, aggressive or rude. The course will show delegates how to deal with all these difficulties. It will also look at the dynamics of the interview, how to locate the interviewee’s wave-length and hot spots, where it takes off and where it can go wrong. It compares face-to-face with telephone interviews and examines how the dynamics of a telephone interview may differ. It discusses the art of asking leading questions, when – and whether – to bluff, and what to say when the interviewee asks to see the interview before it is printed.

As always, these courses can be tailored to meet the needs and working practices of the delegates concerned.   We have developed particular expertise in role-playing interviews on medical and pharmaceutical subjects.