from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hans Eichel during an interview in the Bundestag on the evening of the 2002 Bundestag election

An interview ('ɪntɐvjuː) is anglicism in journalism and is a form of questioning with the aim of ascertaining personal information , facts or opinions .


The term is a combination of words from “mutually” ( English inter , to Latin inter , “in between”) and “opinion, opinion, point of view” ( English view ). These English words can be derived from the French entre- and the Latin videre ( French voir , then French entrevue, s'entrevoir ). .


The term is as common in science as it is in journalism . There are similarities and differences. Interviews are usually carried out orally either in direct contact through interpersonal communication or, in the case of spatial distance, by means of message transmission such as telephone or video conference. Interviews can also be conducted in writing. In journalism, the interview exists both as a journalistic form of presentation and as a research tool. In the scientific field, exact rules are drawn up in order to achieve comparability of several interviewers. Scientific interviews or surveys can be structured (e.g. sequence of questions or question areas) or standardized (specific questions and evaluation rules for the answers are given). For all types of interviews, training of the interviewer is required, particularly with regard to the questioning technique , both in the journalistic trade and in science (in psychology, e.g. to achieve sufficient agreement between assessors).

Interview in journalism

Interview with Angela Merkel , 2011
Interview with a handball coach ( Alfreð Gíslason )

Well known from the media is the journalistic interview, which is carried out with a person from contemporary history for text contributions in the press and online journalism , radio and television . Interlocutors are politicians, scientists, stars and other personalities whose statements are of public interest. In journalism , the interview exists both as a journalistic form of presentation and as a research tool .

to form

According to Walther von La Roche , journalistic interviews are divided into:

  • Interview to the person,
  • Interview on the matter,
  • Interview on opinion.

Depending on the medium, the interview takes on specific forms: online, in the press and on the radio, interviews focus primarily on the text. TV and video interviews also have an entertaining function.

Well-known interviewers on German television were or are z. For example : Günter Gaus (“ About the person ”), Sandra Maischberger , Johannes B. Kerner and Reinhold Beckmann .

Differentiation from the survey

The survey as a journalistic form of representation is often called Vox pop . While several questions are asked to one and the same person during an interview, it is exactly the other way around with a survey: Here the reporter asks the same question to several people.

The interview in other formats

Other forms are conversations with studio guests as part of a magazine program or a talk show . In some cases, they achieve high ranges . The talk show with Sabine Christiansen put other classic TV journalistic formats in the shade.

In science journalism , interviews are used to present complex relationships in a clear and understandable way. Whether this succeeds depends on the ability of the experts questioned. The expert interview is widespread in medical journalism , for example , but also in business journalism and other special-interest formats.

Interviews from the perspective of the interviewed person

First-time interviewees are often agitated. The journalist's job here is to establish good contact quickly. Good journalism is characterized by the fact that interview partners are not "presented".

Executives and other celebrities complete their own media training in order to get their messages across in the media or at press conferences and to keep the upper hand over journalists.


One of the most momentous interviews an interviewee has ever given is probably one of the then head of Deutsche Bank , Rolf-E. Breuer , be. On February 3, 2002, he questioned the television service Bloomberg TV that the financial sector would give the media entrepreneur Leo Kirch "further outside or even own funds". After years of legal proceedings, the Munich Higher Regional Court awarded Kirch's heirs, in a settlement with Deutsche Bank, compensation of around 900 million euros for the disadvantages that Kirch and his company had suffered as a result.

DFB press conference with Michael Ballack

Interview methods in science

Main article: Interview

Interview methods have the same goals as those of the survey . They have in common the form of a conversation between the interviewer (s) and the interviewee.

Interviews in linguistics ( linguistic atlas , dialect research ), in folklore / ethnography (sources), in historical studies ( contemporary witnesses , history of technology, social history, oral history ) and in empirical social research are of great importance as a basis for analysis and documentation work (especially in qualitative social research ) and psychology .


In psychological and psychological-pedagogical diagnostics , diagnostic interviews are used to uncover the most comprehensive, meaningful information possible about individual individuals. They are used - especially in a standardized way - when the information to be obtained from no other data source (e.g. observation, questionnaire) is comparable and the process of question selection and answer evaluation can be supported by formal aids. As a result, a higher level of objectivity in the determination of diagnostic features can be achieved by standardizing the diagnostic information processing.

Structured interviews define the question areas and possible questions. Standardized interviews continue with the formalization. You can specify the specific questions and their sequence as well as the evaluation of the answers given by an evaluation system with different levels of "rigor". It is assumed that standardization will reduce distortion of results by the interviewer .

Interview methods are also frequently used in personnel diagnostics. A special type is the structured recruitment interview , possibly in the form of an extensive standardized questionnaire . It is similar with the first interview with a candidate in the executive search .

Known methods include: a.

  • biographical interviews
  • the diagnostic interview for mental disorders (DIPS, SKID) for adults and children
  • Special interviews for the diagnosis of various disorders (dementia, borderline disorders, stress disorders in children and adolescents, personality disorders, etc.)
  • problem-centered interviews (PZI)
  • behavioral interviews
  • aptitude diagnostic interviews, e.g. B. Multimodal interview

The Qualitative Research uses the method of interviewing. One variant is the so-called problem - centered interview . In qualitative interviews, through targeted questioning of answers and free narration as well as topic-centered explanations of the test subjects, a picture of personality or individual thinking skills that is as free from prejudice as possible and not guided by standards-based comparative interests should be generated. So z. B. Statements about the individual, content-related mathematical thinking (see also: Qualitative diagnostics in dyscalculia ) or other subject areas are made.

Narrative interviews emphasize capturing and interpreting the narrative of the interviewee's biography and his / her own perspective and so-called subjective contexts of meaning constructed by the person should be captured (see also biographical-narrative conversation ) or narrative psychology as an associated methodological approach.


In medical diagnostics , the interview with the treating doctor or the doctor who is admitted to the clinic is called the anamnesis .

forensic science

Further modifications of the interview are the police interrogation and the judicial questioning .


Web links

Commons : Interviews  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Interview  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Ursula Herrmann, Knaurs etymologisches Lexikon , 1983, p. 221
  2. (diagnostic) interview in DORSCH Lexikon der Psychologie
  3. ^ Klaus Ott and Andrea Rexer: Payday . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung of February 20, 2014, p. 19
  4. Interview in DORSCH Lexicon of Psychology
  5. "interviews" in COD Encyclopedia of Psychology