I have to admit, I really love doing interviews, though I prefer to be asking the questions rather than answering them! So I thought I’d create a post about how to create great, engaging interviews in 5 easy steps.
Why are Interviews important?
Interviews are a great way to promote yourself as an authority in your niche/ market place without having to be an authority. Interviews provide value to your readership and audiences by
- Allowing them to connect with wide range of experts
- Get some of their questions answered
- Educating through entertainment
Interviews when done right can be a whole lot of fun and seriously entertaining and they will brand both you and your expert.
If you think of the world’s greatest example of this Oprah became famous by interviewing famous people and experts. She provided so much value, entertainment and inspiration to her audiences that she was became famous herself in the process.
What are Interviews
Simply put, an interview is where you dedicate some time to question and connect with someone you’d like to know more about for the benefit of your audience. So if you’re in the dog training niche perhaps you’d found a local expert in the area of dog training. If you’re into health and wellness you might interview a Natropath, or a Nutritionist or some other health professional. Interviews are usually done in person, but they can be written, it can be done over the phone, Skype or video taped.
Interviews don’t have to be long, they can range from a quick 5 minutes to 50 minutes!
The main thing about interviews is that they are recorded for prosperity sake and so others can get the benefit of your time together.
In this modern age interviews are an increasingly effective way to market and brand yourself and people are always looking to find good interviewees and experts are always happy to be interviewed!
How To Conduct a Video Interview
These days you can do interviews over webinars, Skype and even Google hangouts! My favorite is doing it via video using a decent camera.
1. Firstly you need someone to interview!
Whatever niche you’re in there’s probably hundreds if not thousands of people who are seen as experts in their fields. What has really worked for me is simply connecting with people at or slightly above my level in terms of expertise, ideally meeting them in person and after a mutual friendship has been established simply ask them if you can conduct a quick interview.
The worse they can say is no! Often it’s not even a case of no its simply a case of finding the right time.
Helpful hint: If you’re a part of masterminds, organizations or company events you have people to talk to!
Everyone has an opinion and everyone can give value – simply interviewing a fellow event attendee can be a helpful way to getting your interviewing chops!
2. Setup the interview
Once you have someone to interview you need to arrange a time and place to interview them.
Both you and your interviewee should be in a good place physically and mentally. They shouldn’t be stressed or puffed out after a strenuous prior engagement. It should be relaxed and friendly.
What do you need to conduct an interview?
Honestly you could probably get away with your smart phone, almost all of them have very good capabilities or a decent camera. What probably matters most is that the lighting is decent – not too bright or not too bright. Natural light is the best.
I have used anything from a Canon IXSUS, an iPhone. I like my Samsung Note and recently I bought Panasonic HC-V520M Camcorder.
Having a mini tripod or Gorilla grip helps too to keep your video still and stable.
Sound is an important component of an interview, almost more important, so it important that both you and your ‘expert’ can be heard clearly. So stay away from noisy crowds!
I prefer to be seated in a nice chair away from the masses but you can honestly do an interview from anywhere at almost anytime.
One memorable interview I had was with the wonderful David Woods during a quick afternoon break, in a hall way using two ottomans, and a pass by held the iPad! Fun times.
3. The Flow of an interview
The most important advice I can give about conducting an interview is that it’s not about you. It truly isn’t. It’s about casting your expert in the best possible light (but to not go overboard), it about asking some questions and having some fun and it’s about giving value to your audience!
Obviously everyone wants to do well, but the main thing is to be your authentic self and to come from a place of giving value.
I usually start off by very briefly introducing myself and then introducing the interviewee.
If your expert has ‘an intro’ this is where you would use it. And it’s important to ask them if they have one because it’s respecting their brand and their expertise.
You’d then talk about the purpose of this interview and how it would be of benefit for the audience – because I repeat again, it’s about them!
Depending on the amount of time allotted will give you an indication of the amount of questions you have and the quality and depth of them.
In general I like to atleast ask three questions
- A background question – life, history, beginnings etc
- An expertise question – a question where they can shine and give good value
- A closing question – Re-affirm take aways, action points, to do’s.
Hint: Ask questions you want to have answered know because more than likely your audience will feel the same!
Hint #2: Don’t try to control the interview. Have a relaxed, friendly conversation. By letting it flow you’ll be surprised what gold nuggets you’ll pick up (for your audience!)
4. Close the interview
Nearing the end of the interview thank your expert for their time and allow them the opportunity to plug whatever book, course or training they have. It could also be as simple as telling the audience how they can connect with them and continue the conversation.
5. Edit and Upload
When you’ve completed your interview, thank them for your time. Check the recording and then download it to your PC/ Mac and use whatever movie making software you have on hand.
Personally I just use the software that comes with my Mac.
Here are some common questions that I have received about conducting interviews
Q: Should I give the expert a list of my interview questions so they know what I am asking?
A: It’s probably not a bad idea. If it helps the person feel more safe and relaxed then do it. But depending on your relationship it may not be necessary. It could be a good idea to just give them a brief run through before you actually interview them
Q: What if I don’t feel competent to ask a big name expert in my niche?
A: Persoanlly I would still try, or even send them a list of questions. Remember you’re helping them as much as the other way round. However, there’s nothing wrong with starting with a B or even C list expert. We all have to start somewhere 🙂
Q: Do I need a wired mic? or some lights? what sort of equipment should I use?
A: It depends on your brand and where you are at the moment. I recommend you start where you are at. I started with a simple digital camera and my mobile phone. iPads are handy as well!
Examples of Interviews
In this example Jenny Jordan interview me at the Home Business Summit
In this example I interview Jenny Jordan!
And in this example I am having lots of fun interviewing Ernest Lim
- Find someone you’d like to interview and get started today
- Remember it’s not about you its about giving your audience some value
- Don’t worry about being perfect and have some fun!
What are your questions or tips in relation to conducting interviews?