Recently, I was interviewed on a TV show called “We Mean Business!” It was a half hour show, and I enjoyed the interview a great deal. It was a successful show, and that was because the interviewer, Steve Dorfman, did several things that made the interview successful. There’s an art to conducting a great interview, and let’s look at the things you must do to make that happen:
- Do Your Homework. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been interviewed by people who have absolutely no idea who I am or the work I’ve done. My red flag is an easy one: You don’t pull the name “Jolles” out of a bag and pronounce it correctly without doing your homework. I know we’re in for a long interview when I hear: “Please welcome Mr. Rob, uh, Joe-Lees to our show!” How often do you miss an opportunity to find out more about a person you are about to speak with? What kind of message do you send out when you do?
- Prepare Your Questions. At the end of this BLArticle®, you’ll see a link to the interview I mentioned earlier. I hope you watch it and enjoy it, but before you do, notice what’s below the interview. You’ll see a list of the questions the interviewer prepared. Most of the questions are open, and all are thought out carefully. It’s clear that Steve Dorfman takes his interviews seriously. How often do you miss an opportunity to really think out the questions you are going to ask another person before you speak with them? What impact does this have on the conversation when you do?
- Let The Person You Are Interviewing Speak. This has always been a pet peeve of mine. I would venture to guess that 90% of the time I’m interviewed, I spend more time listening to the interviewer answer his or her own questions, then I do actually answering the questions that are posed. Why have a person on a show if you don’t want to hear his or her answers to your questions? How often do you find yourself asking a person questions, but still end up making the conversation more about you? What impression do you think this creates in that other person’s mind about you?
Take it from a person who has been on both sides of the interviewing desk. When you’ve been a part of a good interview, everyone knows it… and when you’ve been a part of a bad interview, everyone knows it. Watch the interview linked below, and watch how remembering these three simple rules can create an effective interview. The words may be coming out of my mouth, but Steve Dorfman is the one who is running the show.