Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid While Interviewing an Author


Are you preparing to interview an author for your blog or publication? It’s important to make a great impression and ask meaningful questions to get the most out of your interview. However, there are a few mistakes that you should avoid in order to ensure that your interview goes smoothly. In this blog post, we’ll cover the top 10 mistakes to avoid when interviewing an author, including not researching the author or their work beforehand and not having a clear list of questions prepared. By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be able to conduct a professional and engaging interview that will provide valuable insights for your readers.



  1. Not researching the author beforehand: Before the interview, it’s important to research the author’s background, writing style, and latest book. This will give you a better understanding of the author’s perspective and allow you to ask more specific and meaningful questions.
  2. Not preparing a list of questions: A list of questions prepared beforehand will help you stay on track during the interview and ensure that you cover all the important topics.
  3. Asking leading questions: Leading questions are those that suggest a certain answer or bias. Avoid asking these types of questions, as they can skew the interview and make the author feel uncomfortable.
  4. Not allowing the author to speak: It’s important to give the author time to answer your questions thoroughly. Avoid interrupting or cutting them off while they’re speaking.
  5. Not listening actively: Listen actively to the author’s answers and respond accordingly. Don’t be so focused on the next question that you miss important information.
  6. Not following up on previous questions: If the author mentions something in their answer that you want to know more about, follow up on it.
  7. Being too personal: Remember that the interview is about the author’s book and writing, not their personal life. Avoid asking personal questions that are not relevant to the book or the author’s writing process.
  8. not being respectful of the author’s time. Respect the author’s time and don’t prolong the interview unnecessarily.
  9. Not recording the interview: Recording the interview will allow you to go back and review the author’s answers later.
  10. Not following up after the interview: It’s important to thank the author for their time and follow up with them if you have any further questions or if you plan to publish the interview.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can conduct a successful interview with an author and gain valuable insight into their writing process and book.


Happy Interviewing!


Courtesy: Unsplash

57 thoughts on “Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid While Interviewing an Author”

  1. Rhian Westbury

    Research is so important, to have a good background of them and know the angles you want to ask. I used to interview musicians a lot and trying to come up with questions they may not have been asked, or haven’t answered loads of times before helps x

  2. These are great tips. I especially love the ones on respecting time and recording. Both of those are absolutely vital. You want to get things right, and you don’t want a reputation of a being a time suck.

  3. As someone who is interested in conducting author interviews, I found your tips and insights to be incredibly helpful. I appreciate that you provided practical advice that I can use to improve my own interview skills, such as doing thorough research beforehand and being mindful of the author’s time.

  4. Yes to preparing the questions! You want to be able to improvise, but having that foundation will matter.

  5. Yes! 100% this. As an author myself, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than when someone really digs into personal areas, and they don’t take the hint that you really want to discuss it in the depth they want to take the interview in. It should most certainly be a lot more focused on the book itself.

  6. This is interesting to read from the perspective of a reader. Research is the number one thing, I think you would embarrass yourself so much if you hadn’t read the author’s book. Being too personal is a good one to remember too.

  7. It’s tough interviewing someone. I’d be so nervous and fumble and second-guess my questions. But these are great tips for those who are preparing for an interview. You can never over prepare.

  8. You should definitely do your research ahead of time for any interview. It could be quite embarrassing to ask an irrelevant question when you could have the answers you need with just a bit of research.

  9. That is so useful and on time for me. Thank you for the tips. I have always enjoyed reading interviews on your blog so I am sure I can do better following your example.

  10. Victoria Prasad

    These are all really great points! Respecting the author’s time is so important! Being prepared with notes and questions and knowing about the author is a must!

  11. This article was quite helpful for me. It isn’t often for my blog I interview authors – but when I do I should be prepared and follow these tips.

  12. Jennifer L Prince

    You’re so right about leading questions! They don’t help when you want genuine answers.

  13. I love your posts. They are short, to the point, and very useful. This could really help someone who is preparing for an interview with an author and doesn’t have much time.

  14. Mijia Eggers

    While these are the lines of conducting a good interviews, I also watched some moderators using improper ways to interview a person. Sometimes, it really depends on the purpose of the interview.

  15. It’s so important to make sure you do a good amount of research before interviewing anyone. Using open questions rather than leading will help get a better response and more information.

  16. Melissa Cushing

    Love this and a great list of tips for interviewing for sure! I especially love the first tip…. doing your research on the author beforehand as this will help you to ask the right questions and even where to focus in the interview itself. You cant go into it blind…that is for sure. preparedness is key to success!

  17. Great tips on interviewing an author. Respecting their time and staying on point are fabulous tips. Preparing questions is so important during the interview process, too!

  18. Always record, who knows what good information you might miss trying to make notes! Plus being present is really important. This is good for interviewing anyone really. Great post!

  19. I am currently practising for my interview assessment at college as the interviewer. OMG, I swear the stress of trying to figure out the right questions to ask is almost the same as being the interviewee.

  20. great tips for interviewing just about anyone; researching beforehand and having questions (extra ones too in case the author has time, or some questions don’t seem right during the interview for some reason) is so useful

  21. These are very valid points to be kept in mind while interviewing an author. In fact, these hold good for interviewing anyone. Listening attentively and allowing the interviewee to speak are so important for an interviewer. Sandy N Vyjay

  22. Bedabrata Chakraborty

    This is so not in my league but i got hooked on to the topic. Yet I landed up reading the whole post! I think not letting an author speak us the worst offence.

  23. Not just author interviews but any interviews you should conduct with dignity.
    All the points mentioned above are perfect & should be followed for a great session.

  24. I wanted to thank you for your informative blog post on the “Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid While Interviewing an Author.” Your reminder to actively listen to the author during the interview was particularly helpful. I appreciate your insights and look forward to applying them in my own interviews.

  25. This is so perfect. I had interviewed 2 authors and I had followed the same things. I had done a good research on author and their work and also recorded the interview on 2 devices in case anyone gets damaged or deleted or whatever.

  26. Research is so important before any interview. You wouldn’t want to look like a fool during the questionnaire right! Although I have met many authors in my life so far, I haven’t interviewed them formally. Will keep your guidelines in check for my first time!

  27. Amazing suggestions! I love everything about this. It is important to be prepared, and to value the author’s time. I love the social aspects to the suggestions here.

  28. These are really great points! Its very cringe when you watch or listen to an interview and you can tell the interviewer doesn’t know much about the person they’re interviewing!

  29. The significance of research cannot be overstated when it comes to acquiring a solid understanding of the subject matter and determining the specific perspectives you wish to explore. In my extensive experience interviewing musicians, I have always strived to formulate thought-provoking questions that delve beyond the common ones they have encountered multiple times. This approach greatly contributes to the interview process.

  30. Richelle Milar

    This is a really great and very informative post! I’m gonna share this with my friend who’s a interviewer. Thanks for sharing this with us

  31. Melissa Cushing

    These are great tips for anyone looking to interview an author and what a fun experience too! I love it and always enjoy reading a good book and getting a favorite author would be everything!

  32. I’ve done book reviews in the past but never tried author interviews. I’ll have to think about doing it one day. These tips will come in handy.

  33. Pingback: Reviving Devdas: A Fresh Take on Classic Characters in Modern Delhi | With Love Moni

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top