Jeremy Paxman’s Interview Technique

1. What words would you use to describe Jeremy Paxman’s questioning style?

Paxman’s interview style is very direct and aggressive in order to get a reaction out of the person he is interviewing. He regularly kept referring to Conrad Black’s conviction despite the latter’s argument that he is not a criminal as he knew that it would trigger an equally aggressive reaction.

2. What types of question does Paxman use? (e.g closed, leading etc)

Jeremy Paxman used open questions so that he got the best answer he could from Conrad Black.

3. How would you describe Paxman’s approach to creating rapport with his interviewee?

In this instance Paxman doesn’t really go out of his way to create a rapport with Conrad Black. You could see the mutual respect for their professions there from the fact they began laughing after particularly fiery exchanges but other than that there was nothing to suggest that they would get on.

4. If I asked you to identify the key elements of Jeremy Paxman’s interview style, what would you say they are? Give examples of how he drew responses. reactions or information out of the interviewee.

Paxman identified that if he questioned Black’s defiance of being labelled as a criminal then he would get a defensive response in which Black revealed the reasons why he thinks he is innocent.

5. How would you describe Paxman’s body language in an interview situation? Do you think this use of body language is deliberate?

At the beginning Paxman portrayed a man who was very relaxed and assured by sitting back in a casual manner. However, when the debate got heated and Black began responding angrily he sat forward and began pointing in Black’s direction to emphasis his argument in a strong manner.

I’m not positive if this was deliberate though as it is a natural response when confronted, but at the same time, it could have been deliberate in the sense that he was showing he would not back down from the intense questioning despite all of Black’s shouting.


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