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The Art Of Doing A Live Interview

Posted by on Nov 25, 2013

As you know by my last post, I have conducted some live interviews, and been interviewed once (I think it’s just the one time lol). At this point I think it qualifies me to talk about what makes a pretty good live interview; see how we can delude ourselves? 🙂

interviewing Noel Gallagher
marimoon via Compfight

I think every person should think about doing a live interview at least once in their lives. In the video below, and you know I had to have another video, I talk about ways people can improve their skills in doing live interviews. Truthfully, some of those tips can be used in doing interviews like the one I did with Brian Hawkins because there are things in the video that I matched in the written interview, as well as in interviews I’ve done with other people, like the one with Morayma Makay, an actual working model.

There really are two main things, both covered in the video but I’m going to state them differently here. One, you have to have some curiosity in your mind. If you ask the standard questions that everyone else asks, what are you giving anyone that’s new or unique? If I asked Morayma “What’s it like being a model?”, have I asked anything that thousands of other interviewers haven’t already asked? I asked some questions in that interview that I’m betting people have wanted to know but never had anyone to ask; that’s something you don’t see all that often.

The other is the willingness to do some prep work up front. I always have a few questions to ask someone about their past, and so far I’ve been able to ask people questions based on information I’ve found on the internet. One of my first audio interviews was with a lady named Wendy Y. Bailey, who is a group coaching coach (try saying that 5 times fast lol), and we did that one after she answered my standard business interview questions on my business blog. There’s a link to the audio interview on the link I’ve just given you, and there were a few questions that threw her about her, which is always kind of interesting because it either means people weren’t expecting you to know something about them or they really don’t want to answer it to begin with. Talk about a bit of fun!

See there, now with what I just gave you that’s 9 overall tips in how to conduct an interview, and the two above could also work in a live interview. In any case I hope you watch the video, and I hope you think about adding some interviews with people in your spaces. Hey, I’m always available for an interview; did I share this one I did on leadership, a podcast, with you? 😉


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I was wondering if you should let person know the questions beforehand so the person could be prepared and be more comfortable. I do think it is a good idea to give the person an idea.
Aqiyl Aniys recently posted…Franken ABs – My ABs Are Taking On A Life Of Their OwnMy Profile

November 25th, 2013 | 6:50 PM

Hi Aqiyl. The problem with sharing all the questions up front is that it starts to limit going where the conversation goes. For instance, we did an interview with someone where I decided to share 4 questions up front. One, the person never saw them, and because there were 3 of us interviewing her there were pauses in time while folks waited for me to ask a question and then came back into it, and it was sort of disjointed. I think having questions available is good in case you’re worried about not having any idea of what to ask, but I’d rather the person know why they’re being interviewed and live with the spontaneity of it all.

November 26th, 2013 | 6:44 PM

I am not sure that I have mentioned this in my previous comments, Mitch. During my High School years, I was working as a reporter for local TV station. Definitely I have experience this and can back up your tips from first hand. Certainly there are major differences between TV format and web format, though the essence is the same.

November 25th, 2013 | 8:08 PM

Hey Carl; long time no see. And yes, I do remember you mentioning that as part of your past. I also believe it’s probably the same, other than not having to deal with commercials as much online. 🙂

November 26th, 2013 | 6:45 PM

“…the willingness to do some prep work up front.”

A great piece of advice about interviews, Mitch, and one that can be applied to many things in life.
bronxboy55 recently posted…It Goes Without SayingMy Profile

November 29th, 2013 | 7:27 AM

Thanks Charles. Actually, you know I did some prep work before I sent you those questions for your interview here. 🙂

November 29th, 2013 | 11:09 AM
Jeevan Jacob John:

I am not planning to do any interviews – at least not any video interviews. I have to get comfortable with face to face videos before I ever get into those 😉

I have participated in two different interviews (fortunately, they were video interviews. One was a text interview and other, a podcast). It went well; I had a good experience (Especially with the podcast interview; it was my first experience with podcasting).

I will definitely keep these tips in mind, thank you Mitch 🙂 Hope you are having a good weekend!

November 30th, 2013 | 9:09 PM

That’s okay Jeevan. Some of the advice I give here I’ve used for interviews that you’ll find on this blog. They’re pretty fun to do once you get used to them.

November 30th, 2013 | 9:23 PM

I’m actually moving in to the line of live interviews with my next project, I get quite nervous in front of a camcorder, so it’s going to be very interesting to say the least, usually I’ve always done my interviews with a voice recorder 😉
Karen Woodham recently posted…Martians, Laptops, Godzilla and Hobbits. Week in reviewMy Profile

December 15th, 2013 | 1:50 PM

First Karen, let me say that I like the picture you’re using for your avatar way better than that cartoon image you used for years. 🙂 Second, I think if you practice recording yourself a few times without having it shown to anyone else that you’ll start getting comfortable with it. Heck, record a few videos of yourself using your phone, then delete them. And maybe my few tips here will come in handy down the line.

December 15th, 2013 | 9:55 PM
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