What if you can only get one interview/chance to sit down with someone?
Anthony N. asked: What if your time is limited to just one interview? How do you engage your interviewee enough to find the story? My company basically will just send us out literally last minute and interview someone. There is no time to do homework really, just grab your equipment to go. For example, we were just sent to a school to interview the principal to talk about sex education in today's time. We haven't heard anything about this project till that day, so I look up the school so we know where it's at and I read that it's a school mainly for minorities. I want to engage the interviewee as much as possible, and I try to be observant as much as possible by looking around and trying to basically think on the go.
First off, take the time to connect. Without the cameras, just make sure to actually get to know them even if only for 5 minutes. Try to check out an environment that helps you get a sense of who they are. For your Principal example, try and meet in their office and be aware of how organized it is, what types of photos are around, and what this place says about them.
Try to use as much information and a few minutes of casual conversation to make a personal connection while also understanding as much about their Big 3 Things as possible. And lastly, just do your research. See if they are on YouTube or in the media. Try and find what you can on them and their group to understand the context. 15 minutes of this can be huge.
It's certainly hard, and it happens to us once in a while too, but we always try to connect, be perceptive, and do the research.