I have interviewed alot of people, when i did my first few interviews it was painful, I was under prepared, i didn’t even think about the tech failing (and it did) and so many other things that were avoidable went wrong Over the years i have refined my technique, i know how to prepare more now and how to make the person being interviewed feel confident and comfortable .
It does take a great deal of work to set up, plan, organize and carry out an interview with anybody let alone an expert in your field that has influence. It would be completely insane to let these 5 things ruin all that hard work, all that preparation and the excitement. Let’s take a look at what I think the top 5 things are that will stop you crying into your pillow.
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Before you ask an influential person if you can interview them, you should get to know them and build a relationship with them obvious really but it needs to be said. when i started interviewing i often didn’t know that much about the person, i knew their business but not them too much, it’s critical to get to know them a bit first This involves following them on social media and interacting with them wherever you get the opportunity. However, if you communicate too much with them, you could look like a stalker.
Communicate enough with an influencer to stay on their radar. Watch for clues such as slow response time that might mean you’re bothering them. Make your interactions natural and try to make a real connection.
This is one of my pet peeves,
After all the trouble you’ve gone through to prepare and set up the interview, running late and making your interviewee feel pressured could set the wrong tone and derail the whole thing. This is one appointment you don’t want to be late too. Make sure you can make it at the appointed time and make the time earlier if you have any doubts.
I have always scheduled in a minimum of a 15 minute chat before the interview especially if its on a live webinar of live stream to make sure everyone is where they are meant to be when they are meant to be there. It’s come close to the wore before when I have been sat waiting but generally this practice will serve you well.
You need to maintain a professional appearance and make good use of this precious time you have with your chosen expert. For this reason, you should be totally organised. Have a clear outline with plenty of questions and backup questions for the interview. Don’t repeat yourself during the interview, asking questions the influencer has already answered.
Make sure that you have had a pre-interview session either by skype, phone or email so you can make sure you don’t ask anything that may make them uncomfortable or that just aren’t relevant, it also helps set a tone for your interview technique and the way the interviewee will respond, believe me some interviews are harder to conduct with the ‘one answer brigade’ than others.
As part of your preparations, you may want to give the influencer a list of questions so they know what to expect. You’ll want them to understand the topic of the interview and your goals and expectations. I get asked to do this alot and mostly I will refuse. if you over-prep the influencer about every single detail of the interview, it could result in a “rehearsed” interview that’ sounds totally manufactured. One of the reasons you will get people coming back to listen to your interviews is because of the flow and feel you produce this is much harder to achieve when it’s fully rehearsed.
If the interviewee really insists on knowing the questions try suggesting some themes you will ask them about rather than the actual questions.
It’s your call on how much you want to prep the interviewee, but as a general rule, let them know what they need to know beforehand but not everything.
There is nothing worse than a person interviewing you and then disappearing. You need to follow up with your interviewee. First, you need to let them know the details about the publishing of the interview. You may also want them to review the footage or audio in case they want to edit something out.
You should also keep in touch with interviewees as a matter of being professional. Otherwise, they’ll feel that you just wanted their interview and that was it. Stay in touch and keep interacting with them. In addition to being simply good manners, there may also be other opportunities in the future.
This isn’t al of the tips i could think of when it comes to interviewing vip’s in your industry but they certainly give you a good basis of conducting a reasonable interview and everyone is happy
Let me know your interview tips
To Your Success
Kevin Arrow is the CEO of the Online Visibility Academy where ethical entrepreneurs can train in digital marketing skills
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