Whether you’re interviewing someone for your blog or for your company, there are a few things to remember to master the interviewing process. From knowing how to keep the conversation going to transcribing the interview in the best way, here’s all you need to know about the interview process.
Before the interview
Preparation is your greatest advantage with interviews. The more you prepare and research, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with any awkward silences or unexpected answers.
Research your interviewee beforehand
You need to know about the person you’re interviewing first and foremost. And not just about the topic of your interview. Doing a bit of background research on your interviewee will give you more of a well-rounded view on who they are, and clues to their personality. This is great for building up rapport with them so that the interview doesn’t feel too formal or forced.
Have a list of questions ready
Before you jump into the interview, have your questions set out in front of you so you know what to ask as the interview goes on. No matter how well you think you know them in your head, it’s inevitable that something will slip your mind or your mind will go a little blank when it’s time to move onto your next question.
Be prepared for the interview to go off topic a little
Like any conversation, there’s a chance your interview will deviate slightly from the main point or question, and that’s fine. Whilst it might give you more content to filter through later on, these tangents will help with the natural flow of your conversation and make you both feel more relaxed.
During the interview
Next are a few tips to remember while you’re in the interview itself. You need to keep the interview on track and make your interviewee feel comfortable too.
Remember why you’re interviewing them
Regardless of any tangents you go on or new points that come up, keep it in mind why you’re interviewing your guest. This will help you to guide the conversation back to the main point and keep things focused. The last thing you want is to have a 30 minute long interview that hasn’t actually answered any of your questions.
Be an active listener
The key to getting the most out of your interview is by being an active listener. This includes:
- Eye contact
- Reflecting on what they say
- Letting them finish their points
- Not writing down too much as you won’t be able to pay attention properly
After the interview
Once the interview is finished, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your interview in the least amount of time.
Transcribing and filtering through the interview
A 30 minute interview can rack up a lot of words, so rather than copying down word for word what is being said, you can listen in short bursts of 15-20 seconds and decide whether what’s been said needs to be written down. This way you take the main points that you’re going to use without spending too much time transcribing.
If you need the whole transcript though, there are a lot of tools online or professional transcribing services you can use too.
And there you have it – everything you need to know about conducting a successful interview.
Interesting related article: “What is a Job Description?”