Identify, prepare and conduct interviews

Business Sectors (Suites): Journalism
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 31 Mar 2019


This Standard is about preparing for and conducting interviews.  It involves understanding the nature and purpose of various kinds of interviews conducted by journalists, and the preparation required before each interview starts.

It is about identifying appropriate interviewees, checking their details, and background facts. It includes planning questions and accurately briefing interviewees.

This Standard is also about carrying out various kinds of interviews under differing conditions, using suitable interviewing styles, and reacting appropriately to responses.

This Standard applies to all those who identify, prepare and interview for editorial content.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1. use reliable information to identify the purpose and focus of each item or production on which you are working 2. identify and locate appropriate people to interview, taking into account the need for balance and a mix of views where necessary 3. check background facts and personal details to confirm the relevance and authority of interviewees before commencing interviews 4. provide interviewees with clear and, accurate information on the proposed lines of questioning and the contribution expected from them 5. adopt a spontaneous-sounding interview style that is appropriate to your objectives, and encourages required responses from each interviewee 6. listen to interviewees responses and follow up on their answers with relevant questions 7. offer clarification for audiences at appropriate times about knowledge assumed by interviewees, and about any specialist terms or expressions used 8. close interviews when required with appropriate editorial impact 9. identify interviewees to audiences at relevant times make sure that the views of interviewees are reflected in a fair and accurate way when interviews are edited for broadcast 10. ensure that any required release and consent forms are signed by appropriate people 11. brief relevant members of production and technical teams with the information they require at all times 12. work within resource and budget limitations  13. obtain authorisation from interviewees for the use of the content across multiple platforms 

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. the purpose of the interview  2. the differing requirements for different types of interviews including live or recorded, studio or location 3. the clearly agreed brief for each interview, and the target audiences 4. how to prepare for interviews and identify interviewees 5. the deadline for recorded interviews, and the on-air slots for completed and edited interviews 6. the identities and locations of individual interviewees 7. the budgets and resources available for each interview 8. when to use appropriate release and consent forms, who needs them, and when and why an interviewee’s identity should be protected 9. the differences between conducting planned and spontaneous interviews 10. the correct interviewing style for different types of interview, and the differing requirements of items, stations, programmes and productions 11. how to prepare questions designed to give coherent, revealing, incisive or entertaining answers, and the uses of both open and closed questions 12. how to check that interviewees understand what is expected of them 13. the importance of maintaining eye contact and of using correct body language when conducting face-to-face interviews 14. the relevant dress codes for different occasions and locations 15. how to close interviews naturally and neatly 16. procedures for gaining authorisation from interviewees for the use of content on multiple platforms  17. how to deal with agents and PR representatives


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2022





Originating Organisation

Screen Skills (formerly Creative Skillset)

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Media and Communication, Media Associate Professionals

SOC Code



interviews, interviewees, questionning, journalism,