It’s been awhile since I last posted a blog entry. I recently have found myself behind the camera more than in the “interviewer” chair as I typically love to be. Anyway, that brings me to my topic…”When You Are The Interviewer.” Interviewing a person can be a nerve wracking experience. For starters, if you are new to the experience you will run into a few mistakes: ask a question that might offend, or ask a question that leaves the interviewee confused, worse yet you ask a question that immediately gets a short “yes” or “no” answer, just to name a few. Here are some great tips that will help you and the interviewee have a more enjoyable interview especially when the cameras are rolling.
- Small talk – nothing wrong when the camera is rolling to start off with something “light”….weather, work, anything that can make the interviewee start to relax and easily talk. Stick with something easy…I’ve learned people love to talk about what they “do” at work. Even if they don’t like their job!
- Smile – yep, I’ve done it. It works! Try smiling and nodding your head when the interviewee is speaking. Acknowledge them by smiling, or tilting your head, anything that lets them know you are alive and well AND they are not boring you. You WANT them to stay in the seat not try to “road runner” out of the interview.
- Why? I’ve heard it said (maybe Larry King?) that “why” questions are great at getting expansion on an answer. Think of your interview as “peeling” an orange….an interviewee often has quick stock answers (the skin)….”this is what I do, this is how I do it” but WHY questions can often lead to a more genuine answer (the juice baby!!).
- Write It Down - I’ve found that by putting questions on notecards, or Ipad, or even notepad (they still exist!!)…you often are reminded of other questions in the process of writing. Having a few more questions is not a bad thing….again, someone you speak to over coffee, can appear more “quiet” when the camera is on them. Know this going in!! Have plenty of questions, you never know where the interview can go.
- Just NOD – What? Yep…just nod, sometimes when someone is speaking and you nod your head and don’t speak…..they CONTINUE to speak. And CONTINUE to speak. Think of the orange analogy, when they start to answer and you continue to nod they’ll talk themselves right into the “juice” portion of what people really want to hear when it winds up on video.
- You Are In Charge! – It’s no accident you are in the interviewer chair, act like you belong there. If you ask a question and it comes out wrong, laugh at yourself and throw out the next question, I’ve found a mistake on my part relaxed the interviewee (perhaps they didn’t feel so alone?)
These are just a few starting points, many more to follow…. If you find yourself being interviewed, or doing the interview, it’s not as easy as it looks but with a little preparation, and a mindset that this will be “fun” often the interview can be just that. Chaz is thinking back on all his “not so perfect questions”….I think that could be months worth of blogs.
I will not smile till this interview is over!