How do You Write an Interview? Anyone Can Do it with These 4 Simple Online Tools

Amanda Clark-Rudolph
You'll want to add these tips and tricks to your writer's toolbox.

Photo by Amy Hirschi /Unsplash

“I want to live every moment, totally and intensely. Even when I’m giving an interview or talking to people, that’s all that I’m thinking about.”
Omar Sharif

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, there were around 52,000 reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysis jobs in 2019.

I claimed one of them, and in the last two years, I have written approximately 300 interviews. So these days, I hear this common question: How do you write an interview?

I then offer this standard answer: Interviews almost write themselves. Sure, you need to know how to ask questions and stitch the pieces together, but the quotes guide you to the story.

Plus, online tools save me bucket loads of time. Want to know how?

Here’s how to write an interview using 4 online tools

1. Random Topic Generator

A solid interview has solid questions. You spend oodles of time researching your source and generating questions based on the point you’re trying to make. But, I’ve also found that adding a few random and funny questions breaks the ice.

For this, a question generator helps. My vote: The Capitalize my Title Random Topic Generator.

Not only does this site randomly create questions, but scroll down for conversation starters about various topics.

After exploring this online tool, you’re bound to find a few questions that will lead to an exciting discussion and break the ice with your interviewee — pinky swear.

2. Otter

Gotcha! I’m not talking about the animal. I recently discovered Otter, a sweet transcription tool that converted 40 minutes of a recorded telephone audio conversation to text.

Then I searched for Houdini’s ghost.

All I had to do was drag and drop my audio file into the program. The transcription took approximately 10 minutes.

Otter offers a free version with up to 6,00 minutes. Or, you can vouch for paid versions ($8.33 for 6,000 minutes or 20 for 60000 minutes).

Give it a try.

3. Grammarly

I swear I am not a spokeswoman for Grammarly, even though I have written about the product numerous times.

Grammarly corrects grammar, spelling, and typos in your interview notes. You can also run your transcribed Otter file through it.

Although you can use the free version, I pay an annual fee of around $149 a year for the premium version. Why? It goes the extra mile and clarifies and now even rephrases awkward sentence structures.

Grammarly saves me buckets of time and improves my writing — interview or not.

4. Voice Recorder

It’s a good idea to record your interviews (ask for permission first), so you can revisit the conversation and double-check quotes. Recording your interviewees also enables you to focus on the conversation instead of typing or jotting notes simultaneously.

I use the preprogrammed voice recorder app on my Lenovo computer. But there are many choices out there. I stick to my laptop voice recorder on my laptop due to convenience. I save the file in a folder, then send it to Otter.

Not a fan of your computer’s audio app? The Online Voice Recorder works well, too.

How to use the interview tools in a step by step process

Luckily, you can use these 4 online tools as a step by step process to write your interview.

  1. Pick a few fun conversation starters from the topic/question generator.
  2. Record your interview with the Voice Recorder.
  3. Run your audio file through Otter to receive a transcribed version.
  4. Put the transcribed version through Grammarly.

Add these strategies to your journalist toolbox, and you’ll learn how to write an interview in no time.

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Hi, I'm Amanda - a freelancing mama who writes about family, travel, holidays, and more! In addition to freelancing it up, I'm a Content Coordinator for neighborhood magazines. My favorite pastimes: Writing, slurping lattes, and playing freeze tag with my two sons.

Ocala, FL

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