Top 10 Tips for Conducting an Exceptional Interview



On this weblog submit, I share my prime 10 ideas for conducting an distinctive interview on your podcast, your YouTube channel, and your web site. You’ll be taught:

  • The advantages of interviews
  • The right way to serve your viewers together with your interviews
  • What homework it’s worthwhile to do pre-interview
  • The varieties of questions open-ended and follow-up inquiries to ask your interviewee
  • The right way to create a heat, welcoming interview atmosphere
  • Methods to provide area and alternative to your interviewee
  • The significance of listening
  • Why you need to emphasize understanding
  • The instruments to make use of for high-quality manufacturing
  • What you need to by no means do in an interview
  • And learn how to have a bit enjoyable too

Prepared on your interview prep? Let’s do that.
Among the finest methods to create content material on-line is to interview somebody—an individual who enhances you and your model or somebody who fills the holes in it.

Interviews are extraordinarily useful as a result of:

  1. You’ll be able to generate distinctive and refreshing content material on your viewers. You do not must be the skilled to ship skilled recommendation.
  2. It might increase your degree of authority merely due to the general public affiliation that you’ve with the interviewee.
  3. You construct a relationship with the individual you’re interviewing which may presumably result in different progress alternatives for you and your model down the highway.

Conducting interviews (particularly audio or video interviews) nevertheless, is not simple.

A minimum of good ones which are value individuals’s time.

Though many of the content material is generated by the individual you’re interviewing, many of the duty to trend an interview value consuming nonetheless lies in your arms—and it isn’t nearly asking the suitable questions both.

It is about real curiosity, stream, vibe, sincerity, concern, digging deeper, defining the unclear, attracting tales, avoiding awkwardness, and being acutely aware about all of that on the identical time.

After conducting a whole bunch of interviews of my very own on the SPI Podcast and on my YouTube channel, and being interviewed on many podcasts and YouTube channels, I’ve realized rather a lot about what it takes to conduct a worth-listening-to interview, one that’s fascinating and stuffed with content material that your viewers needs to listen to.

It is tough to decide on, however listed here are a number of of my favourite interviews I’ve ever achieved:

And that is to not point out the nice and cozy, enjoyable, insightful interviews you may hear on our latest podcast, The Community Experience. Listed below are a number of standout episodes:

Under are my prime 10 ideas for conducting an distinctive interview:

10. Keep in mind Who You are Serving

Two phrases: Your Viewers.

Though the interview might enable you and your model whereas on the identical time assist the individual you’re interviewing (by giving them publicity to your viewers) your primary precedence needs to be to enlighten your viewers—to get solutions which are significant from the individual you are interviewing that may higher serve those that will finally eat that content material.

Your viewers will respect it significantly, and serving your viewers first is a gesture of appreciation. Believe me.

9. Pre-Interview Homework

There are few issues that you need to do earlier than the interview truly occurs:

  1. Perceive a bit bit about who you are interviewing first.Certain, you are conducting an interview to be taught extra about an individual and what they do, however because the interviewer you need to know a bit bit greater than your viewers so as to correctly introduce the individual and ask the suitable questions. If you’ll find an current interview with the individual on one other web site, that shall be useful too so you possibly can gauge their type and tone, and create questions for that individual accordingly.
  2. Affirm the main points of the interview with the individual you are interviewing. That is particularly vital for those who’re interviewing somebody in a unique timezone. Some issues to substantiate are:
    • Date and time.
    • Technique of communication. (Zoom, telephone name, smoke alerts).
    • Approximate size of interview.
  3. Take a look at your recording gear! Microphone, audio, and Skype settings.
  4. Put together a listing of questions. See the subsequent tip . . .

P.S. I share further pre-interview ideas together with having a pocket book with you and avoiding an excessive amount of preparation in SPI TV Episode 50:

8. Put together a Listing of Versatile, Open-Ended Questions and Doable Comply with-up Questions

You need to put together a listing of questions that can act as a template for the interview—a information for the trail that you simply wish to take from begin to end.

Not a buying listing that you need to follow one hundred pc.

For every query you need to provide you with two or three attainable follow-up questions that is likely to be appropriate to ask, relying on the reply.

You in all probability will not get to all of them, however as a result of they’re there it is a good reminder simply in case the proper alternative comes as much as dig deeper into a subject of curiosity.

So far as the questions themselves, listed here are a number of fundamental guidelines:

  1. Do not ask YES or NO questions.
  2. Do not ask a couple of query at a time.
  3. Preserve them related however be inventive.
  4. Phrase the questions in a approach that can permit the individual being interviewed to increase.
  5. Provide to point out the inquiries to the individual you are interviewing to ensure they’re snug with them, which works together with . . .

7. Present a Welcoming Atmosphere

To be able to get the perfect solutions from the individuals you interview, you have to create a welcoming atmosphere for them.

A cushty individual, one who feels as if they’re simply having a dialog with a good friend, shall be extra probably to provide beefier info in a extra enthusiastic and pleasant tone, which advantages everybody.

Listed below are some methods to create a cushty atmosphere for the individual you are interviewing:

  • Allow them to know earlier than you even begin recording that it’s actually only a dialog about two individuals connecting with one another.
  • Be certain that they know all the particulars concerning the interview beforehand.
  • Ask them in the event that they’d wish to see the questions first.
  • Thank them for the interview earlier than you even begin and welcome them to your viewers.
  • Have them take heed to a pre-written or rehearsed introduction earlier than attending to the questions.
  • Be enthusiastic and really wish to conduct the interview!

6. Permit the Individual You are Interviewing to Speak

One of many worse issues you are able to do as an interviewer is take over the interview your self. You have to give the individual you are interviewing an opportunity to speak as a lot as attainable with out interruption. The extra they speak—the higher.

It is vital to interact in dialog—sure—however there is a line you possibly can cross the place it begins to turn into impolite and/or simply not invaluable to your viewers. Don’t interrupt. Keep in mind, you’re creating an area for them to share their story. It’s about them, and it’s about you facilitating that for them.

5. Hear!

This may occasionally sound apparent, however you have to hear!

Be engaged within the interview—not only a one who reads the questions aloud.

That is a lot harder than it sounds. As an interviewer myself, it is extraordinarily simple to “drift off” whereas the opposite individual is speaking. It isn’t that you get bored and uninterested (I hope), however you may “tune out” whilst you watch for them to complete so you possibly can transfer on to your subsequent query. Do not do this.

What helps is to not consider your interview as actually an interview in any respect, however a dialog that doesn’t observe a linear path. Typically, in tangential aspect tales, gold may be found.

All the time hear actively and be engaged and current.

4. Really Need to Perceive

Alongside the identical strains, you will need to need to know—and this may be achieved on totally different ranges.

On the floor, it is nearly understanding the scenario or what’s taking place. What did this individual do and why is it vital to share?

On a deeper degree, nevertheless, it turns into way more attention-grabbing, each for you because the interviewer and those that will finally take heed to it. On the deeper degree, it turns into why does this individual do what they do, and how.

Professional interviewers like Andrew Warner from Mixergy and David Siteman Garland do a unbelievable job of truly eager to be taught every little thing there’s to find out about an individual or a course of—not simply the what but additionally the how and why, and I genuinely really feel prefer it’s as a result of they wish to totally perceive every little thing, which is why their exhibits are so standard.

3. Try for a Excessive-High quality Manufacturing

Unhealthy high quality audio or video can wreck a unbelievable interview. Some individuals will not even hear if the standard is not there.

Do no matter attainable (inside your funds, in fact) to conduct a high-quality interview.

I personally use a Heil PR-40 Microphone and conduct most of my interviews utilizing Squadcast. I additionally just like the CAD U49, ATR2100x (USA), and Samson Q2U microphones. I like to recommend the ATR and Samson in my The right way to Begin a Podcast video class, which you get without cost once you obtain the Podcast Cheat Sheet. [Disclaimer: The microphone links are affiliate links, which means I get paid a commission if you purchase through those links.]

I report utilizing Ecamm Name Recorder for Skype (Mac solely), though for those who’re on a PC, Pamela for Skype is the software program of selection.

Additionally, try Auphonic, which is a free device that makes certain each side of the dialog are on the identical degree of quantity.

If you wish to add an additional oomph to your recording high quality, try my video:

2. By no means…

  • Ask a Sure or No query.
  • Ask a couple of query at a time.
  • Say “…and my subsequent query is…”
  • Permit for a clumsy pause or boring second.
  • Be disrespectful to your viewers and the individual you are interviewing.
  • Neglect to be current with the individual you’re interviewing.
  • Rely an excessive amount of on analysis or notes, because it takes away out of your energetic listening.
  • Preserve your mouth in your microphone (or breath into the mic) whereas the opposite individual is speaking.
  • Neglect who you are serving.

1. Have Enjoyable!

I do know it is cliche to finish a prime 10 listing with “have enjoyable”—however on this case it’s going to actually assist your interview.

Having enjoyable with it’s going to truly make you and the individual you are interviewing way more snug, which is able to result in higher content material on your viewers.

In the event you make it look like a activity or a chore, then it’s going to mirror within the interview—and that is not what we would like.

Have enjoyable, benefit from the expertise, develop new relationships, and generate some superb content material!

Ask the Viewers: What Makes an Interview Distinctive to You?

What makes an interview distinctive and makes an interview horrible?

Here is what some individuals needed to say about it on the SPI Fb Web page [which has since closed down]:

Jennylou Raya says:

Distinctive is once they present real curiosity within the individual, asks questions nobody asks however others can be dying to know. Good is consistency from one interview to a different with out sounding like a damaged report when you could have an opportunity to take heed to the interview archives all in sooner or later. Horrible is when the interviewer is unprepared and has no clue who they’re speaking to or is aware of lower than the viewers.

Jason Bellomy says:

The primary factor for me is that the individual conducting the interview doesn’t dominate the dialog. The purpose needs to be to let the interviewee do many of the speaking whereas the interviewer pushes the dialog in a course the place he feels his listening viewers would profit.

Brandon Figueroa says:

Distinctive: The interview is extremely informative. Which means, they ask numerous ‘meaty’ questions (and none of that fundamental boring stuff) with numerous solutions and views that most individuals have not considered or seen earlier than.

Horrible: Poor audio high quality, nobody cracks a joke, monotone, uptight, uninformative, repetitive stuff that folks already know.

Superior Interview (Bonus): it is ‘shareable’. Extraordinarily entertaining AND informative on the identical time…

The Final Information to Beginning a Podcast

And one last word for podcasters—try our utterly free information to getting started with your podcast. It covers every little thing it’s worthwhile to know from begin to end, from gear to getting your present out into the world.


Need to begin your individual podcast?

Our full step-by-step tutorial exhibits you ways.


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