What Purpose Does an Interview Essay Serve?

Choosing a topic for an interview essay is the first step towards understanding how to create a powerful written piece. In some cases, instructors do not provide topics. And topics for interview essays differ from other academic papers – because the interview subject is a real person. Once a topic is chosen, some research will be needed to identify someone to interview. This person needs expertise in a relevant field, especially if the topic is scientific in nature. If your essay is of the narrative variety, you can choose any person. However, it is recommended you choose someone with sufficient experience of life. Beware though! If your essay lacks interesting material it may be rejected by those who receive it. Family members are likely to agree to be questioned; subject matter experts may think your questions a waste of their valuable time.

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Before beginning to write an interview essay there are a number of factors to consider.

  • Interview subject
  • Questions to be asked (in list form)
  • Date and location of interview
  • Format or type of essay (e.g., career, narrative, questions and answers format, and so on).

Eight Excellent Tips for Writing Interview Essays

There is no doubt that writing an interview essay differs from other forms of academic writing (e.g. analysis, argumentative, cause-effect, compare-contrast, expository essays, and so on). The following tips are intended to help you write successful interview essays:

  1. For an interview writing assignment, choose a topic related to your area of specialization – an interviewee will not be interested if they do not understand your questions.
  2. Choose someone to explore your topic with once you have decided what this will be.
  3. Look for potential information sources.
  4. Develop a list of formal-style and meaningful questions.
  5. Arrange a time, date, and place to suit your interviewee.
  6. Make notes for the duration of the meeting.
  7. Write your essay according to what you have learned (you should find an essay outline helpful in this respect).
  8. Proofread your written work and edit it.
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Four Common Types of Interview Essay

  • Career-Style Essay

One type of interview essay paper is the career-style essay, which aims to explain or describe the process of applying for a job. Be prudent in your choice of interviewee. Develop a set of interesting and relevant questions concerning how your interviewee got hired, what their professional objectives or goals are, what motivates them, and any other aspects readers might benefit from knowing about. Write down every interesting detail your interviewee shares with you. Remember to properly cite any quotes or famous sayings you use.

  • Leadership-Style Essay

Undoubtedly you want to end up with the best interview essay possible so what do you intend to write about? Leadership perhaps? If so, an effective way to develop an interesting essay is to identify a person who has succeeded in business, e.g., the CEO of Apple or Microsoft and put several good questions to them. Understand that people in these positions do not have a lot of time. Follow your outline and make detailed notes of conversations so that you are well placed to write a robust essay (one-to-one meetings are the best method of speaking to experts; however, there is always phone, online chat, Viber, or Skype if you need them).

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  • Narrative-Style Essay

You are probably now getting a feel for how to write an interview essay, and the format is the first thing to consider when preparing questions. An interview essay can be written in one of two common ways. You can use narrative to convey what you learned from an interviewee or present your essay in the style of questions and answers. Teachers usually specify their required style in instructions.

  • Personal Interviews

One-to-one conversations are the most effective way of getting in-depth answers to each question on a list and this method makes for the best interview essays. Indeed, the question and answer format is the very best way to present the results of personal interviews. Select three key points that were covered in interview. These will form the main body of your essay. Your outline should be created around these key points. Create a history or timeline to reflect the most important events or facts in the life of your interviewee.

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