I work as a teaching assistant for a professor in the communications department at my college. It is a multi-faceted job, ranging from teaching class and grading papers to writing department proposals and putting together videos. In the communications industry, much of what is done is directly related to the nuts and bolts of a computer program or the inner workings of a camera. Yet the physical alone is not sufficient to explain parts of what happens when it comes to film or radio or graphics or even print. There is a soul behind what we see or hear and when it is best we do not even notice it. It is that soul which is tapped into in Martin Perlich’s book The Art Of The Interview.

The best interviews on ones where it seems as though the person asking the questions is not even there, but it is as though the answerer is opening up directly to the listener. There is no form which can bring that about, no standard six step plan to an interview like that. Martin Perlich offers the closest possible advice, that interviewing all boils down to two things: prepare and listen. And so, although this book certainly qualifies as a how-to of interviewing, it is established upon that very basic base.

Perlich brings with him forty plus years of interviewing experience and leaves behind gems of advice for all those who seek to excel at interviewing. Yet this book is not simply for those who listen to NPR on their lunch break and know exactly who Ira Glass and Terri Gross are. The basics of interviewing are also applicable to the basics of communication. Conversation is, after all, the very base of life. To those who wish to better understand people, the things they say, and how to talk to them, this book provides the answer to those wishes.

Perlich’s book could very well pass as the handbook for radio production when it comes to interviewing. Although it is a technical guide of sorts, it is also far more than lists and sequences of what to do and not do. Though this book, through his look at the very art of interviewing, Martin Perlich is able to see into the heart of conversation and people. He sees to the very soul.

This book is available at Amazon.

Nathaniel Jonet

Be Sociable, Share!