Meaning and structure of the interview

As soon as you ask someone something and the other answers, you have already conducted a small interview. Because interview means nothing but questioning or talking .
In contrast to an ordinary conversation in which the one questions, once the other, in an interview always only one questions and the other always answers.

The interviewer is mostly a journalist or presenter and the respondent a well-known personality or expert in a particular area. However, there are also interviewers who are not journalists, for example, people who make a question of opinion. And there are interviewees who are neither known nor experts, and are nevertheless questioned. For example, people who do something special or have an interesting job.

Regardless of who is interviewing whom, the interviewer must agree with the respondent before the interview that he is conducting an interview with him. This is important because you almost always want to publish interviews. For example, in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, the Internet, books or even within a question of opinion. The interviewer must therefore know before the interview that his answers will get other people to read or hear and therefore must give his consent.
Because interviews are almost always published, an interview has a much more official, more formal character than a normal conversation. While you can talk in a normal conversation simply drauflauf, from the actual topic wander, To let his thoughts leap, and to say more or less unhappily his opinion, the respondent must pay more attention to his words during an interview. He has to think about what he wants to give and what is not, and how his sentences are likely to affect the public. Even in opinion polls, where the interviewee remains generally anonymous during the publication, the interviewee will carefully consider whether he is willing to reveal to the interviewer whether he likes sweets, how often he goes to the cinema, or which party he chooses.
Conversely, the interviewee must be careful that the interviewee does not deviate too much from the topic, that the answers also fit into the questions, and that he also best learns things that were not known before. The questioner, therefore,

An interview is therefore always a more or less hidden power struggle between interviewer and interviewee, in which the interviewer does not reveal too much or at least present themselves in a good light, the interviewer on the other hand as much as possible, thus also not so advantageous over the responding out Would like.
Sometimes the power struggle is carried out openly. This is especially the case with interviews between journalists and politicians. Politicians often do not want to sacrifice their real intentions and have many prefabricated sentences with which they answer many of the questions.
Journalists respond with different techniques. For example, by provoking the politician with unpleasant questions, so do, As if they know more than the person questioned or with more deeply inquiring questions continue to drill. In the event of a fortune, the politician can be led to a new, unpredictable answer, in the case of a bad luck, he rejects the journalist and says nothing more.
For the reason, there is also the question technique, rather with niceties and understanding for the respondent to try to get new information. This may work, but it does not.

Even among other persons interviewed, such as artists, scientists, athletes or even unknown persons, there is always a tightrope walk between the prosaic appearance and the understanding of the questioning. The respondent needs a lot of fingertip sensitivity and the ability to listen well and react correctly to get the answers he wants to have.
The extent to which the distance or distance between questions and answers can and should be can also depend on the subject (subject matter or personal topics), the situation (live or only published later) and, last but not least, the medium (email, telephone) , Direct conversation before running camera or without any medium), through which both entertain themselves.
The behavior of animals is, for example, certainly easier to chat than about personal likes and dislikes or political intentions.
A live interview, which takes place at the same time as it is released, is, on the one hand, certainly more spontaneous and true than an interview which appears to be delayed. On the other hand, in a live interview the interviewee is often more cautious because he has no way of cutting out unsuitable O-tones (ie, original tones) after the interview.
In interviews, which only appear later, the interviewee has the possibility to let passages be deleted. Incidentally, in such cases the questioner frequently also changes the actual conversation. He makes passages, Cuts out many O-tones and even sometimes puts them in a different context. In interviews that are not live, you can never be sure whether this or that is really said so.

And in most cases, an email interview is less personal than a telephone interview, which in turn is less personal than a direct conversation. If, on the other hand, the personal conversation is disturbed by cameras and microphones, the atmosphere in most cases is, on the other hand, much less relaxed than in an interview in which only questions and answers are present.

Having a good interview is not easy. You need a lot of knowledge about the interviewed person or topic, well-asked questions and skill and sensitivity to respond to the answers. And one must not be distracted by the respective environment of the interview.
Last but not least, the quality of an interview often depends on the mutual sympathy of the respondent and interviewee.

Goal of interviews

The goal of an interview depends on the perspective that you take during the conversation: Questions or answers?

For the interviewee, the goal of an interview is to get as much information as possible for his audience. Information may include opinions or assessments of a particular situation (for example, a natural catastrophe, a political conflict, but also a future cultural event), (background) knowledge on specific topics or persons, declarations of intentions, or representations of the life of the respondent.

For the respondent, on the other hand, the goal is to explain his position or his actions and to present them to a public. It is always about designing a certain image or image of himself or his group or party, for which one is talking. In most cases, the respondent would like to portray his own intentions, lifestyles, or his knowledge on a subject in such a way that he takes the public for him, or at least does not discredit him or the thing for which he stands.
Since one often has to position oneself in an interview, it is often the case that the respondents either choose the wrong words or say something they would rather have concealed. Finally, Federal President Horst Köhler resigned because he said something in an interview, Which was reprimanded by parts of the public.
Actors, musicians or people from the showbusiness usually have less to lose. They use their interviews mainly for advertising purposes. That is, they form an image of themselves through interviews that can be sold well in public. For example, if a pop star asserts that his hobby is “cooking with friends” or that he does a lot with his children in his spare time, this does not have to be true.
In addition, celebrities use interviews also to be known to the public once or vice versa.
But there are also celebrities, who have no or very rare interviews.

Special forms of the interview


In talkshows, several people are simultaneously involved in a conversation via a moderator. This can be used to illuminate a topic from different personal angles. The quality of these interviews depends essentially on how well the moderator conducts the conversation. If, for example, he breaks someone off before it becomes exciting, he leaves one person much more space than another, loses the thread of the discussion, or if he does not respond to what was actually said, the information content of the round will be rather small .

Opinion poll

In opinion polls, the opinions are asked by many people. For example, who is asking which party, who is buying what food or clothes, or how many people believe in God or not?
Opinion surveys are mostly ordered by certain groups of persons at opinion polling institutes.
Politicians, for example, want to know the mood of their voters. On the other hand, goods manufacturers are interested in the popularity of their products, and scientists are interested in life setting or living habits.
Opinion surveys are problematic in that the respondents’ opinions can be deliberately steered by the nature of the questions. In addition, one can not assume that the respondents always faithfully answer.

Patient interviews

In contrast to other interviews, interviews between the doctor and patients are not published and are subject to medical confidentiality. They serve on the one hand to get to know the patient better. On the other hand, psychologically or mentally ill patients are to be cured, inter alia via talks.