10 Ways To Incorporate Storytelling Into Your Interview Style

These FAQs address the most common questions that people may have when it comes to planning, preparing for, conducting, and analysing interviews for various purposes. These FAQs are applicable to a wide range of industries and situations, such as academic research, radio broadcasting, podcast or webinar hosting, journalism, job interviews, and many others. The information provided also delves into specific aspects of the interview process, including planning for individual or group/focus group interviews, important considerations during interviews, effective questioning techniques and building rapport with interviewees, different interview styles, and the steps to review and interpret the outcomes after the interview has taken place.

The Art of Storytelling in Interview Styles: Crafting Engaging Content

The intersection of storytelling and interview styles has become a powerful tool for creating compelling and engaging content. Before delving into the intricacies of this art, let’s establish a foundational understanding of the key terms: “storytelling” and “interview styles.”

Storytelling is the art of conveying a message or information through a narrative, engaging the audience emotionally and intellectually. It transcends mere facts, creating a connection that resonates long after the tale is told.

Interview styles, on the other hand, encompass the techniques and approaches employed during interviews to elicit meaningful responses and insights from the interviewee. Integrating storytelling into these styles enhances the overall impact of the conversation, turning it into a memorable and impactful experience. 

Now, let’s explore the intricacies of incorporating storytelling into interview styles through ten key subtopics.

10 Storytelling Tips For Your Interview

#1 Understanding Your Audience

  • Recognise the demographics and interests of your audience.
  • Tailor your storytelling to resonate with their experiences and values.
  • Example: For a podcast targeting tech enthusiasts, weave narratives around real-world tech challenges and triumphs.

To truly engage an audience, it’s paramount to delve into the intricacies of their demographics and interests. Researchers, journalists, podcasters, and human resource managers alike must recognise that storytelling is not a one-size-fits-all endeavour. 

Storytelling research

Tailoring narratives to resonate with the unique experiences and values of the audience is the linchpin of successful engagement. For instance, consider a podcast targeting tech enthusiasts. To captivate this audience, the storytelling must intertwine with their real-world experiences and challenges. Narratives could explore the triumphs and tribulations of overcoming intricate tech problems, providing insights that not only inform but also resonate on a personal level. This level of specificity creates a connection, establishing the storyteller as someone who understands and relates to the audience’s world.

Moreover, understanding the audience extends beyond surface-level demographics. It involves delving into the psychographics, grasping the motivations and aspirations that drive their interests. A thorough understanding of your audience enables the crafting of narratives that not only capture attention but also leave a lasting impact.

#2 Crafting Compelling Openings

  • Grab attention with a captivating anecdote or scenario.
  • Set the tone for the interview through a well-crafted introduction.
  • Example: Begin a journalistic piece with a vivid description of a relevant current event.

Crafting a compelling opening is akin to setting the stage for a memorable performance. It involves a delicate balance between capturing attention and establishing the tone for the interview. To achieve this, storytellers can employ the art of the captivating anecdote or scenario. Anecdotes possess the power to draw the audience in, creating an immediate connection through shared experiences or emotions.

For example, in the realm of journalism, the use of vivid descriptions related to current events can serve as a powerful opening. By painting a picture with words, the audience is not only informed but emotionally invested from the outset. This emotional investment lays the groundwork for a more profound connection, ensuring that the audience remains engaged throughout the interview.

Furthermore, a well-crafted introduction is a strategic tool for steering the narrative in the desired direction. It sets the tone for the entire interview, guiding both the interviewer and interviewee towards the overarching theme or purpose. An introduction should not merely be a formality; it is a key component in shaping the narrative arc, providing a roadmap for the storytelling journey that follows.

In essence, the opening is the storyteller’s opportunity to seize the audience’s attention, leaving an indelible mark that resonates throughout the entirety of the interview.

#3 Developing a Narrative Arc

  • Structure the interview like a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
  • Ensure a logical flow that keeps the audience engaged.
  • Example: In HR interviews, trace a candidate’s career journey, highlighting pivotal moments.

The narrative arc is the backbone of storytelling in interviews. It transforms a series of questions and answers into a cohesive and compelling story with a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Think of it as a roadmap that guides the audience through a meaningful journey, ensuring that each element of the interview contributes seamlessly to the overarching narrative.

In the context of HR interviews, applying a narrative arc involves tracing the candidate’s career journey. This goes beyond a chronological recitation of job titles; it delves into pivotal moments that shaped the individual’s professional trajectory. Highlighting challenges overcome, lessons learned, and significant achievements adds depth to the narrative, transforming a routine interview into a captivating story of personal and professional growth.

Maintaining a logical flow within the narrative arc is equally crucial. Transitions between topics should feel natural, creating a cohesive storyline that keeps the audience engaged. Avoid abrupt shifts that disrupt the flow, and instead, build connections between segments to enhance the overall storytelling experience.

A well-developed narrative arc not only elevates the interview but also ensures that the audience remains captivated from the opening sequence to the final moments of the conversation.

#4 Utilising Personal Stories

  • Encourage interviewees to share personal anecdotes.
  • Humanise the conversation and establish a connection.
  • Example: During a research interview, prompt participants to share experiences related to the study.

Encouraging interviewees to share personal anecdotes is a gateway to humanising the conversation and establishing a profound connection with the audience. Personal stories have the innate power to transcend mere information, offering a glimpse into the interviewee’s experiences, values, and personality.

In the context of a research interview, prompting participants to share experiences related to the study can uncover valuable insights. These personal narratives add a layer of authenticity to the research findings, making the information relatable and engaging for the audience. It transforms data points into stories, fostering a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Moreover, personal stories create a bridge between the interviewee and the audience. Listeners or readers are more likely to connect with the content on an emotional level when it is anchored in real-life experiences. This connection is the essence of storytelling, as it forges a bond that extends beyond the confines of the interview itself.

As interviewers, cultivating an environment that encourages the sharing of personal stories is an art. It involves asking open-ended questions that invite reflection and storytelling. When interviewees feel comfortable sharing their experiences, the resulting narratives become powerful tools for engagement and connection.

#5 Incorporating Emotion

  • Appeal to emotions through storytelling.
  • Foster empathy and connection with the audience.
  • Example: For a human interest story, convey the emotions experienced during challenging situations.

Storytelling is a vessel for emotion, and weaving emotions into interviews is a potent strategy for fostering empathy and connection with the audience. Whether conveying joy, sorrow, or triumph, emotional resonance elevates the storytelling experience from informative to memorable.


In the realm of human interest stories, the art lies in conveying the emotions experienced during challenging situations. By narrating not only the facts but also the emotional landscape surrounding an event, storytellers create a richer, more immersive experience for the audience. This emotional depth ensures that the story lingers in the minds and hearts of those who engage with it.

Consider the power of relatable emotions in storytelling. When an audience can empathise with the feelings expressed in a narrative, they become active participants rather than passive observers. Whether it’s the jubilation of a successful project or the resilience in the face of adversity, emotions serve as a universal language that transcends the boundaries of industries and professions.

Furthermore, the strategic use of pauses, tone variations, and emphasis during storytelling can amplify the emotional impact. Storytellers should be attuned to the nuances of their narrative delivery, ensuring that the emotions embedded in the story resonate authentically with the audience.

#6 Active Listening and Responsive Storytelling

  • Listen attentively to the interviewee’s responses.
  • Seamlessly integrate follow-up questions that build on the narrative.
  • Example: When interviewing an expert, actively respond to their insights, shaping the conversation organically.

The art of storytelling in interviews is a dynamic exchange between the interviewer and the interviewee. Active listening is the cornerstone of this interaction, laying the foundation for responsive storytelling that adapts to the nuances of the conversation.

Listening attentively to the interviewee’s responses goes beyond a perfunctory acknowledgment of words. It involves a deep engagement with the content, an openness to nuances, and a genuine curiosity about the narrative unfolding. The interviewer becomes a receptive audience member, ready to absorb and respond to the stories being shared.

Seamlessly integrating follow-up questions is a skill that transforms a routine interview into a rich storytelling experience. These questions serve as bridges between segments of the narrative, allowing for the exploration of deeper insights and perspectives. The goal is to organically shape the conversation, ensuring that it evolves naturally based on the interviewee’s contributions.

For instance, when interviewing an expert, the art of responsive storytelling manifests in the ability to actively respond to their insights. Rather than sticking rigidly to a predetermined script, the interviewer adapts to the expert’s revelations, delving deeper into areas of expertise or pivoting based on emerging themes. This flexibility ensures that the interview is not a static exchange but a dynamic, evolving dialogue.

Moreover, responsive storytelling is a demonstration of respect for the interviewee’s expertise. It acknowledges their unique perspective and allows the interview to unfold in a collaborative manner. This approach not only enhances the authenticity of the storytelling but also creates a more engaging and enlightening experience for the audience.

#7 Balancing Information and Entertainment

  • Infuse facts and information seamlessly into the narrative.
  • Keep the audience informed while maintaining entertainment value.
  • Example: In a business podcast, elucidate market trends through real-world success stories.

Effective storytelling in interviews strikes a delicate balance between imparting information and providing entertainment value. While the narrative should be informative and enlightening, it should also be engaging enough to captivate the audience’s attention throughout the interview.

Infusing facts and information seamlessly into the narrative requires a strategic approach. Rather than presenting information as a data dump, storytellers can integrate relevant facts into the storytelling flow. This ensures that the audience absorbs information effortlessly, without feeling overwhelmed by an excess of data.

In the context of a business podcast, elucidating market trends through real-world success stories exemplifies this balance. Instead of presenting dry statistics, the storyteller weaves a narrative that contextualises the information. Real-world examples breathe life into data, making it more accessible and relatable for the audience. This approach not only educates but also entertains, transforming potentially dense content into an engaging storytelling experience.

Moreover, maintaining entertainment value does not imply sacrificing the depth of information. Rather, it involves presenting information in a manner that resonates with the audience’s preferences and expectations. A well-crafted narrative can make even the most complex topics accessible and enjoyable, creating a harmonious fusion of education and entertainment.

As storytellers navigate the balance between information and entertainment, they should be attuned to the pace of the narrative. Avoiding information overload and ensuring a steady rhythm of engaging content ensures that the audience remains invested in the storytelling journey.

#8 Adaptability in Storytelling

  • Tailor your storytelling approach based on the interviewee’s personality and communication style.
  • Flexibility enhances rapport and encourages openness.
  • Example: Adjust your tone when interviewing different generations for a journalistic piece.

The versatility of storytelling lies in its ability to adapt to the unique characteristics of each interviewee. Recognising and tailoring the storytelling approach based on the interviewee’s personality and communication style is a strategic manoeuvre that enhances rapport and encourages openness.

Storytelling adaptability

Consider the scenario of interviewing different generations for a journalistic piece. Each generation possesses distinct communication styles, preferences, and cultural nuances. Adapting the storytelling tone and approach to align with these differences ensures that the interview resonates with diverse audiences.

Flexibility in storytelling is not a departure from authenticity; rather, it is an acknowledgment of the diverse perspectives present in the interview landscape. It involves being attuned to the interviewee’s cues, adjusting the tone, pace, and style to create an environment where they feel comfortable expressing their thoughts.

This adaptability extends beyond verbal communication. Non-verbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions, also play a crucial role in tailoring the storytelling approach. The goal is to create a symbiotic relationship where the interviewer and interviewee co-create a narrative that reflects the authenticity of both parties.

Moreover, adaptability fosters a sense of inclusivity. When interviewees perceive that the storytelling approach respects and accommodates their individuality, it cultivates a space for more open and candid conversations. In essence, adaptability in storytelling is not only a skill but a mindset that embraces the richness of diverse voices.

#9 Storytelling in Investigative Journalism

  • Use storytelling to convey complex investigative findings.
  • Break down intricate details into a compelling narrative for broader understanding.
  • Example: In an investigative podcast, unveil the layers of a corporate scandal through narrative storytelling.

In investigative journalism, storytelling becomes a powerful tool for conveying complex findings to a broad audience. Investigative stories often involve intricate details, convoluted narratives, and multifaceted issues. The challenge lies in transforming this complexity into a compelling and accessible narrative that resonates with the audience.

Using storytelling to break down intricate details involves a deliberate approach. Rather than overwhelming the audience with a barrage of information, the storyteller carefully structures the narrative to unveil layers gradually. Each piece of information becomes a thread in the overarching story, leading the audience through a logical progression of understanding.

For instance, in an investigative podcast unveiling the layers of a corporate scandal, storytelling serves as the guiding force. Instead of presenting a chronological recitation of events, the storyteller crafts a narrative that immerses the audience in the intrigue and drama surrounding the scandal. This approach transforms a potentially dry exposé into a gripping narrative that sustains audience interest.

Furthermore, investigative storytelling involves a meticulous balance between transparency and suspense. While providing sufficient information to educate the audience, storytellers strategically hold back certain details to create anticipation. This careful orchestration ensures that the audience remains invested in the unfolding narrative, eagerly awaiting each revelation.

In the context of investigative journalism, the role of storytelling extends beyond mere reporting; it becomes a vehicle for advocacy and awareness. By presenting complex issues through a narrative lens, storytellers have the power to inspire action and foster a deeper understanding of the societal implications of the investigative findings.

#10 Post-Interview Storytelling

  • Craft post-interview content that extends and enhances the narrative.
  • Utilise various mediums such as articles, social media, or follow-up interviews.
  • Example: After a podcast interview, write a blog summarising key insights and behind-the-scenes moments.

The narrative does not conclude with the final question of an interview; instead, it extends into the post-interview phase. Crafting post-interview content is an opportunity to revisit and enhance the narrative, providing additional layers of insight and context for the audience.

Crafting post-interview content involves distilling key insights and memorable moments from the interview. It serves as a reflection on the interview’s highlights, offering the audience a concise yet comprehensive overview. This summary acts as a continuation of the storytelling journey, ensuring that the narrative remains fresh in the minds of the audience.

Utilising various mediums for post-interview content amplifies the storytelling impact. Articles, for example, allow for in-depth exploration of specific aspects discussed during the interview. Social media serves as a dynamic platform for sharing bite-sized highlights, engaging visuals, and behind-the-scenes moments. Follow-up interviews, whether in written or audio form, provide an opportunity to delve deeper into specific topics touched upon during the initial conversation.

Consider the scenario of after a podcast interview. Crafting a blog that summarises key insights and unveils behind-the-scenes moments provides the audience with additional context and a more intimate connection to the interviewee. This layered approach to post-interview storytelling transforms a singular event into an ongoing narrative that evolves with each piece of content released.

Moreover, post-interview storytelling serves as a feedback loop with the audience. By actively incorporating audience feedback and questions into subsequent content, storytellers create a dialogue that transcends the traditional interview format. This engagement transforms the audience from passive listeners to active participants in the ongoing narrative.

In essence, post-interview storytelling is a strategic continuation of the storytelling process, ensuring that the narrative remains alive, evolving, and resonant with the audience. It is an artful way of extending the conversation beyond the confines of the interview, creating a multifaceted storytelling experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Key Storytelling Tips

Engage Your Audience with Relatable Content

  • Share stories that resonate with your audience’s experiences and interests.
  • Craft narratives that spark curiosity and elicit emotional responses.

Maintain a Seamless Flow

  • Ensure a smooth transition between storytelling and interview questions.
  • The narrative should enhance the interview, not overshadow it.

The fusion of storytelling and interview styles emerges as a potent force for creating content that captivates and resonates. By embracing the art of storytelling, professionals across various industries can elevate their interviews, fostering deeper connections with their audience.

As you embark on this storytelling journey, remember that authenticity is key. Embrace the uniqueness of each interviewee and tailor your approach to create a genuine and impactful narrative.

Suggested Resources For Storytelling

Way With Words: A leading transcription service offering accurate and professional transcriptions to complement your interview content.

Nieman Storyboard: A platform offering insights, resources, and case studies on storytelling in journalism and interviews.

StoryCorps: A collection of real-life stories, providing inspiration and examples of authentic storytelling in interviews.

The art of storytelling in interview styles is a continuous journey of refinement and discovery. As you implement these strategies, observe the transformative power of narratives in creating truly engaging content.