Freelance Writing: Interviewing
This course is part of the UBC Micro-certificate in Writing Skills for Digital Content.
Great interviews are a crucial step in creating great stories — and they can be the difference between a story that stands out and one that falls flat. Whether you’re interviewing for an article, a podcast, a press release, website content or online videos, interviewing skills can significantly elevate your work. But a great interview involves much more than simply asking questions.
This course takes you step-by-step through the art of interviewing:
- choosing the right technology
- researching & focusing your interview
- forming questions
- getting your subjects to open up
- getting the interview back on track if it goes off the rails
- incorporating interviews into your work in an accurate, natural and engaging way
This course is taught by award-winning journalist and veteran CBC radio/podcast producer Jennifer Van Evra. Her work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Condé Nast, the Harvard Business Review, Vancouver Magazine and many other publications alongside her many radio documentaries, podcasts, series and specials. The winner of several broadcasting awards, Jennifer has also coached many broadcast and podcast hosts.
In the course, you will interact with your fellow students in the online forum, prepare and conduct your own interviews, write multiple interview-based articles and get invaluable one-on-one feedback from Jennifer on your work.
The course includes exclusive weekly video interviews with top journalists, authors and broadcasters who share their tips and secrets for getting the most out of interviews. These videos are available only to registered students and feature:
- comedian and podcast legend Marc Maron, whose WTF podcast has had hundreds of millions of downloads
- former CBC host and Order of Canada recipient Shelagh Rogers
- renowned Globe and Mail investigative reporter Kathy Tomlinson
- bestselling author J.B. MacKinnon (The 100-Mile Diet, The Once and Future World, The Day the World Stops Shopping)
Week 1: The Importance of Interviews
Week 2: Getting Ready — How Research & Prep Will Make Your Interviews Sing
Week 3: Q Lines — Drafting Questions & Types of Interviews
Week 4: Gearing Up — Using the Right Equipment
Week 5: The Big Moment — How To Get The Most Out of Your Interviews
Week 6: Getting Back on Track — When Interviews Go Off The Rails
Week 7: The Art of the Quote — How To Incorporate Interviews Into Articles & Other Media
Week 8: Taking Care of Business — The Legalities and Business of Interviews + Review
How Am I Assessed?
This course is marked complete/incomplete, and is based on your attendance and participation. Your instructor provides personalized feedback on the assignments you hand in.
Expect to spend 2-3 hours per week completing coursework, participating in the online forum, and attending the optional group video chat.
To take this course, you’ll need access to:
- an email account
- a computer, laptop or tablet under five years old and using Windows or macOS
- the latest version of a web browser (or previous major version release)
- a reliable internet connection.
For virtual office hours, you’ll also need:
- a video camera and microphone, or you can dial in by phone
One day before the start of your course, we’ll email you step-by-step instructions for accessing your course.
There are no textbooks for this course.
This course is 100% online and instructor supported with weekly instructor office hours.?Course work is done independently and at your own pace within deadlines set by your instructor. Log in anytime to your course to access the lessons as they become available.
Weekly Office Hours
Wednesdays, 6:45–7:30pm Pacific Time
This course offers optional weekly drop-in virtual office hours. Join your instructor and classmates by video conference to discuss course materials and assignments, ask questions and chat with fellow participants.?
Online materials will be available for?three?weeks after the course ends, after which time you will no longer be able to access the course.?