First time interview with local business owner, what to ask and how to do it.
February 23, 2012 8:51 PM   Subscribe

I was told last minute that I was doing an interview with a small local business owner (a new bar in a college town). I am not from a journalism background, and need some advice. See below the cut.

A little background, I am a photographer and our writer for the publication was not available for this very last minute interview (they were nearing the open their very unique, local bar) and I was asked if I can do it. That being said:
What are some basic questions to ask (like when they plan on opening, what services they offer, etc)
What are some unique questions to ask?
Any pointers on using the iPhone4 Voice Memo app and transcribing the interview (no more than 10-15 minutes)
The people at the publication will do all the editing and post-interview work. I basically need to ask the questions and get it recorded, but hopefully without making any pitfalls.
Thank you so much in advance for any advice!
posted by hillabeans to Food & Drink (4 answers total)
What kind of crowd are you hoping to attract?
What makes this place special?
What are you most proud of about this bar?
What businesses have you owned/managed/worked at before opening this?
Who helped you plan this?
What were your inspirations for this bar?
What do you recommend on the drink menu?
Any specials that everyone should know about?
posted by jayder at 9:03 PM on February 23, 2012

Some potential questions:

-What words would you use to describe your group of employees?
-What are your hours like?
-What makes you stand out from other bars in town?
-Where did you get the bar's name Big Chug from?
-What can people expect when they first walk into this new bar?
-What's the most unique brand of alcohol that you serve at Big Chug?
-What are some of your bartender's special drinks?
-What type of food can customers expect to have at Big Chug?

Side note: AVOID double barrel questions (two questions in one). It's easy to do this when you are nervous, but it is difficult for most interviewees to approach this question because they don't know which question to respond to first and will probably forget half of your question.

Good luck!
posted by livinglearning at 9:05 PM on February 23, 2012

In my former life as a journalist, the final question I asked almost always got me good stuff: Is there anything I haven't asked that you think is important?
posted by yellowbinder at 9:11 PM on February 23, 2012 [7 favorites]

Thank you these were all very very helpful :)
posted by hillabeans at 12:26 PM on February 25, 2012

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