Delivering great interviews: Tips and tricks from the top

The John Schofield Trust March masterclass featured Ian Rumsey, the mastermind behind ‘that’ Prince Harry interview

On 21 March 2023, the Trust was delighted to host an exclusive public masterclass on planning and delivering great high profile interviews.

We were treated to an in-depth discussion with ITN Executive Producer and Managing Director, Ian Rumsey, who masterminded ITV’s exclusive interview with Prince Harry from start to finish. The interview, which took place in January 2022, was conducted by Tom Bradby and watched by over four million viewers.

Ian was in conversation with LBC presenter and Senior Fellow Sangita Myska, expert in asking all the right questions, digging deep to unearth the extraordinary nuggets that emerged from this unique experience.

Here are a few of Ian’s key tips for delivering sensational high profile interviews:

1/ There’s truth in the phrase ‘Don’t ask, don’t get’. Go for it – you don’t know it won’t work until you’ve tried it

2/ Utilise personal contacts, but set up professional boundaries

3/ You can never prepare enough!

4/ Trust between the reporter and producer is essential. Collect ideas from the team, then agree a structure and ensure interviewer/producer stick to it. But…

5/ …be flexible if something unexpected comes up! If the interviewee answers in an interesting way, ask follow up questions and allow for the structure to reactively change

6/ Team work is vital. Make the team feel valuable, let the whole team be involved and feed into every part of the process. Everyone will have valid ideas

Our heartfelt thanks to Ian and Sangita for offering up such an engaging and insightful masterclass to our Fellowship. All our expert speakers give their time voluntarily and all our events are free – if you’d like to support this side of our work please donate here or get in touch to offer a contribution:

Our next online masterclass will be in April, and open to all. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay tuned for more details, coming soon. Visit youtube to catch up with our previous masterclasses, on journalistic topics ranging from pitching to editing, podcasting, foreign correspondence, science journalism and much more.

Photo: Ashleigh Keenan-Bryce