More and more bloggers are offering to interview fellow bloggers. Here’s a video blog post of me being interviewed.
Well…it can bring you more traffic.
Think about it…the interviewer and the interviewee are both going to promote it. That means you could both be exposed to each others regular visitors.
But interviewing is not easy. You have to put in a lot of preparation.
Interviews are as nerve-wracking for the person conducting the questioning as the person being interviewed. In any interview scenario, there are always two people on show simultaneously, and both can be either judged or praised for their performance.
Some of the best interviewers in the media manage to make themselves almost invisible while they allow the full focus to rest upon the subject of the discussion.
However, most of us don’t have the innate skills necessary to do a great job, and we need to practice for interviewing just as much as we do for being interviewed.
A great interviewer has the following qualities:
- An ability to make the subject feel at ease and comfortable immediately
- A strong knowledge of the person being interviewed, and the industry being discussed
- A great sense of humour, which makes for great entertainment
- A sense of ease with the material and the person being interviewed
- The ability to facilitate through any potential awkwardness.
When we interview a fellow blogger, we may have to overcome various issues including a sense of being out of our depth (depending on how great they are!) and a fear that we won’t understand their industry well enough. Follow these tips to make sure that you make a really great job of your next interview…
Understand your audience and what they want to hear
- Learn the portfolio of your subject and their back catalogue so you can refer to it
- List questions to ask to stop any awkward silences that could occur
- Read up on their field of expertise so you know what you are talking about
- Imagine what your readers may want to ask, and then ask the right questions
- Remember the objectives of why you are interviewing and keep them at the forefront of your mind, steering your interviewee to give great responses
- Let them know a little about you and what you want to achieve beforehand, so you are both starting from the same objectives
- Have a good conversation with them – don’t let shyness or the camera put you off from being yourself and letting your personality shine through
- Send them a list of prepared questions so they have a chance to prime before the interview
- Let them guide the conversation, as this makes things more natural and dialogue will flow better
- Ask open questions, giving the opportunity for the subject to expound on any themes that they warm to, which brings them out for your interview
- Set the scene and provide a strong introduction before you start the interview, making sure that your audience will know who they are and what they have done
- If they have a product, make sure you have it to hand so you can hold it up if videoing the interview, so it gives a sense of product placement for potential buyers who watch the video
- Check the background if you are filming – lighting needs to be right and you need to remove any objects that might detract from the interview before you kick off
- Take it slowly, to make the end result easy to understand and follow
- Provide a summary at the end and next steps for the viewers, including any actions needed to buy a product (where they can get it, what other products are in the pipeline) and invite people who watch or read the interview to give feedback and comment on what has taken place.
What have I missed?
What preparation do you do?
Please share your views in the comments below.