Copywriters spend a lot of time interviewing people - the client, the client's customers (for case studies) and industry gurus (for articles). Personally, I like to use the telephone. It is so much less an intrusion into a busy person's working day and therefore easier to gain agreement for an interview. It is so much faster getting to the point. I normally tape record the interview, with agreement, and transcribe it later. Taping an interview makes it so much easier to listen.
Understanding the power of Open and Closed questions Closed Questions are those that prompt a Yes or No answer. Yet they do have their place.
How, under the pressure of an interview, can you easily ensure that your questions are Open Questions? Easy - they usually begin with Why? and How? "Why did you change your supplier?", "How did your Widget change your life?
There are two other ways of using questions - the directive question (used to test sincerity or to redirect the conversation) and the reflective question (useful in getting the interviewee to expand further on what they have said). But they are a subject for a future blog.