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Different people deploy different screening interview strategies in terms of questions and probes. In addition, the response from the interviewee usually depends on the probing and questioning strategy that the interviewer deploys. This essay represents a personal analysis of media interviews basing on information gathered from televised interview shows.
Brief summary of the interview session
The host of the interview is Larry King on the famous Larry king Live show aired by CNN. The interview took place during the morning of 18th April 2009 UK time. The interviewee is Susan Boyle, a music star due to the talent search show Britain's Got talent. Boyle caught public interest due to her stunning performance during the talent search show. In addition, Piers Morgan, a judge at the talent show was part of the interview session.
Interview styles, questions and probes
A significant characteristic of Larry king's interview and probing style is that he focuses on asking the interviewer soft questions, which are easy and open ended, making most of his interviews to involve the participation of the interviewee. In this context, King focused on getting Susan Boyle to talk about herself in the show. It is important to note that he would sometimes slip tough questions at intervals during the interview session. For instance, king asked Boyle how the stardom gained from the talent show will affect her life.
This implies that Larry King probing styles are softer, with little or no intention of attacking the interviewee. In response, Susan clearly outlines how stardom has affected her lifestyle without dodging King's questions. Larry probing focuses on personal lifestyle, and engages Piers Morgan for opinions. In case of open-ended questions, Larry did not follow up, although he gets the interviewee to exhaust all the information himself. The response from the interviewees, Susan Boyle and Piers Morgan did not entails any element of dodging questions, possibly due to the open-ended nature of probing by Larry King. Larry king also incorporated the concept of call-ins during the interview session.
Observation of the interview style
The interview style deployed by Larry King does not involve any element of attacking the interviewee; instead, he focuses on the key matters that resulted to the interview. For instance, he mostly interviews Susan Boyle basing on her career, with little personal issues. His soft questions strategy makes it easy for interviewees to respond without dodging the questions or refusing to respond at all. An important aspect of Larry king interview style is that he does not follow up. It is up to the interviewee to exhaust all the information at his/ her own will.
A comparison of the interview styles
There are diverse differences between the tough questions interview and the soft questions interview. The soft questions approach usually allows the interviewee to take control of the session, since most of the questions are open-ended and do not aim on attacking the interviewee. On the other hand, tough and hard questions interview strategy puts the host at center stage, allowing him to control the session. Another difference is that interviewers are more likely to dodge hard questions compared to soft questions.
Critique to the styles, questions and probe
The soft questions interview style questions the credibility of the interview session because the host has little control of the session. This implies that the interviewee do not encounter hard questions that may have been the goal of the interview. In addition, an interview based on soft and open-ended questions gives the interview a chance to express his or her stand without facing a challenge. On the other hand, hard and tough questions can make the interviewee dodge most of the questions and probes, thereby impairing the significance of the interview.
Despite these limitations, they give the host a chance to have control of the interview session with intense probing and follow-up strategies. Tough questions and follow up are effective in cases where the interviewer wants to uncover a contentious issue that involves the interviewee. In the context of Larry King interview with Susan, the open -ended and soft questions was appropriate and professional since there was no form of attacking the interviewee.
Summary and implications of my observations
The effective and appropriateness of an interview style, probes and questions depend on the context and the objective behind the interview. For instance, informative interviews do not need tough questions, follow-ups and intense probing. This implies that in either case, an interview style is effective provided the objective of the interview is put into consideration.