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How to write a good profile

Tips on how to interview someone for publication

  • By: Harriet Vickers
  • Published: 04 May 2012
  • DOI: 10.1136/sbmj.e2951
  • Cite this as: Student BMJ 2012;20:e2951

Writing a profile is a great excuse to meet some fascinating people, and learning how to get the most out of an interviewee is an essential skill for budding journalists.

It seems obvious, but choose someone your audience will want to read about. For Student BMJ, this could be someone who’s had a high level position, pioneered a successful intervention, worked through an interesting time in their field, or is in the public eye. Check your ideas haven’t already been covered in the publication and run them past the appropriate editor.

You want it to be a conversation rather than an interrogation, and having key points means you can check them off when you’ve covered them.

This is always a good question to ask at the end of your interview. You might have missed something or the interviewee might come up with an unexpected anecdote or piece of advice which

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