Have you ever experienced premature interview termination? Here’s how it goes: At the end of an interview – whether it’s for a magazine article, corporate newsletter piece or podcast – you thank the subject, snap your notebook shut and switch off your recorder. In the chatter that follows, your interviewee utters the most quotable quote of the last half hour.
I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me. So, over the years, I’ve learned to not turn off the recorder until the last possible minute – way beyond the thank-yous – and to keep my pen poised to capture every juicy bit. Half the time, the best material emanates from those last comments.
There’s a lesson here for the interview subject too: Don’t assume that what you believe to be an off-hand comment won’t actually be on the record. (Of course, in the corporate world, endless rounds of approvals will ensure that the final product won’t violate anyone’s sensibilities; for external publications, it’s a different matter.)
What do you think?