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19 September 2014
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Veena Josh

Veena Josh

Veena, an award-winning TV and radio journalist, has faced many interviewees in her career covering topics from entertainment and sports to factual documentaries.

Here Veena shares some 'tricks of the trade' and offers some advice on how you should go about getting your point of view across.


What traits do you need?
You need to have knowledge in your topic, confidence and a clear thought about what you want to get as an end result. A good interviewer needs to be a great listener and have the ability to think on their feet, so that they can adapt to cover the unexpected.


How do you get those skills?
It does comes from experience but if you are starting out, make sure you are well versed in a topic and have done your research. Watch Points of View - study it. Immerse yourself in TV and radio and see the different styles people use in interviews. You need to eat, drink and sleep it.


Is the style you use in an interview important?
Style can certainly help get your point of view across, especially if the topic is dull and of course it can be great tool to use to emphasise a point. However, it should never take over the substance of your topic or argument - it should only ever be used as an aid. Remember, style can be useful but if you have a point to make, make it, don't beat around the bush.


How big a part does research play?
Knowing your topic is essential and it is really important to try learn all the sides of an argument. Try playing devil's advocate and take the opposing side. Double check your facts and ask whether you are able to back up your point of view if challenged.


Biggest turn off when someone is trying to get their point of view across?
Shouting! People who talk over each other and won't listen to anyone else are a real turn off. Also someone who clearly hasn't researched a topic. Remember you are there to be the eyes and ears of your audience so it's important you can be heard.


Best way to present yourself?
What you are setting out to do is leave a lasting impression on the viewers' mind. To do that you should be cool, calm, collected and dignified - that way you will have much more impact than someone who screams and shouts.


Best pieces of advice?
Prepare yourself by asking and answering the other side's questions to get a really rounded view on a topic. Think about your skills and interests and use them. Finally, be courteous, polite but persistent and tenacious.


How should you approach someone in an interview situation?
Make sure you know in your own mind why you are talking to them and what you want from the interview. Write out a list of around ten questions, then pick out the top three to ask first so you make sure you cover the most important topics.


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