What I've learned from various stints in public radio.
  1. Pay the fuck attention
    No thinking about what to make for dinner. No thinking of the answer to your own question. No wondering when they're gonna stop talking. Listening takes active concentration, ya'll.
  2. Don't push the river
    Forget the script. If you're actively listening, and curious, each answer will likely spark your next question. Go with that. You can always refocus the conversation if need be.
  3. Step up your superlative game.
    "What's your favorite food?"is good, "what's the strangest thing you ever eaten?" is better.
  4. Clarify, clarify, clarify. (The location, location, location of interviewing.)
    Most people speak in generalities because no one has ever really asked them about it. Asking clarifying questions, i.e "what do you mean?" reveals evocative details, fleshes out a story, and often gets to the root of how one may really feel in a way that will surprise even them.
  5. It's like...we're all pieces to the same puzzle, man.
    Relate. Connect. You'd be surprised how many experiences replicate the same set of emotions as a really shitty break-up.
  6. Turns out, stoners ask pretty good questions
    Ask big idea questions that, at least in spirit, get at, "but what does it all mean?" In the context of a war, a lifetime, or a marriage, this will give you a birds eye perspective and probably a good closer.