30 Tips on How to Interview Like a Journalist – Content Marketing Tips

30 Tips on How to Interview Like a Journalist – Content Marketing Tips


– Want some fast track advice to improve your journalistic
interviewing skills? Well, 30 tips coming up. (upbeat music) Hello, my name’s David Spark and welcome to Content Marketing Tips. Here they are, 30 tips on how to interview
like a journalist. Tip number one, find a good interviewee. I know, this sounds like a d’uh tip but honestly, the reason
I put this number one is if you actually find
a good interviewee, you can pretty much
ignore the next 29 tips. Tip number two, it’s your job to research. Take the time to research
just a little bit because in that process you’re
gonna find great questions. Tip number three, let your
preconceptions go or not. This is a debatable topic because there are two different
production techniques here. You can know what you
want as the end product so you produce interview towards that or you don’t know what you want and you just dig for a
story you don’t even know. Tip number four, make them comfortable. Those lights and those
cameras are not normal. They’re distracting. So make everything else seem
as comfortable as possible like your seating, the
surroundings, whatever it is and your demeanor be comfortable. Tip number five, make small talk. As you’re setting up, don’t
ignore the interviewee. Just talk about anything that’s not what you’re
gonna interview them about. Tip number six, do not send
out questions beforehand. Oh my God, it ruins the spontaneity and in a video interview,
it’s all about the reaction and in an email interview, well, if you’re doing that, well, heck, of course, there’s no other way. You gotta send out the
questions beforehand. Alright, quick interruption. If you like this, why not subscribe for more content marketing tips? I’ll give you a lot more. Tip number seven, let them
know what you’re going to do. This is really important because all interviews are different. Some are long form, some are short form. Some, you’re just
looking for a sound bite. So explain to them, alright,
I’m gonna turn on the camera. We’re gonna talk for about six minutes. I’m gonna ask you to do this and again, you’re not telling
the questions beforehand but just make it clear
what’s going to happen and the level of the brevity or length you want of the answers. Tip number eight, warn
them of the bright lights. Yeah, that’s gonna happen. People are gonna wanna
look into the bright light but tell them not to
because it’ll blind them. Tip number nine which actually should
have been the first tip is to ask them to spell and
pronounce their name and title, however you’re gonna identify them. This falls under the category of slating. Tip number 10, establish some reciprocity. Ask them to give you something
so it’s not so one sided that you’re constantly badgering them. A simple thing like pretending
your pen’s not working, saying, hey, can I borrow your pen, that gets them a little bit invested. It’s a small thing but it
does create an emotional bond between you and the interviewee. Tip number 11, record the interview. Now, not all interviews
are gonna be done on video but the number of times
I’ve just had a reporter with a pad of paper asking
me things and quoting me is a little aggravating. It’s the ethical thing to do. I mean, first of all, if you recorded with just an audio recorder
or the recorder on your phone, you can actually have a conversation, you could focus on the subject and you eliminate the chance
of misquoting the person. Tip number 12, don’t let
them answer off mike. So often when you’re about
to conduct an interview, the interviewee is so excited and they just wanna start
talking about whatever it is even though you haven’t
set up the equipment. Just stop them. Don’t let them do that. Go back to the previous tip
where I say softball questions. Talk to them about anything
but the topic at hand. You always want their first
answer on camera or on mike. Tip number 13, test your equipment. Just beforehand, record
something, listen to it, make sure the sound’s right, make sure the sound level’s right, make sure you have your
video settings correct and then connected to the
that is tip number 14, know your equipment cold. This is really important
’cause when you are setting up and you’re about to do the interview, if you aren’t setting it up really fast like you know what you’re doing, the interviewee is gonna
be a little frustrated and not feel confident about how well this interview is gonna go. I’ve been on the receiving end of this and I will tell you, the
interview never goes well. Tip number 15, ask open-ended questions. So you’re gonna wanna avoid questions that have a simple yes, no answer. So ask them open-ended about so what’d you see, what did
you do to make that decision or why did you make that decision? Tip number 16, don’t try to fill the void. Often, when you’re interviewing somebody, the interviewee will pause and you’ll be eager to just jump in. Don’t. That dramatic pause is phenomenal on video and especially if you’re
doing long form interviews. So just sit there, be
patient, let them ponder and let them answer. Tip number 17, ask the
reflection question. This is a great question to ask
pretty much in any interview is what were you expecting to happen, why did you think this would happen, was there an unexpected benefit or an unexpected hurdle here? Tip 18, ask questions for which
you already know the answer. So this is critical often for video as you just need the footage
of someone explaining what this company is or
what this building is or whatever it is. You’re just gonna need that asset to sort of fill out your story. Tip number 19, the interview
is a conversation with you. To get that sort of sensibility
from your interviewee, you have to get invested in the story, acknowledge what happened,
what they just said. Be actively listening and delve into it with more
response and more thought. So when that happened,
what did you wanna do next and what did you do? Tip number 20, reboot an interview. So if an interview’s going
badly, pretend to end it and then just chat a little bit
and then ask to start again. That’s often a good way to
get things back on track. Tip number 21, ask about feelings. I kind of referenced
this a little bit before but really, this should always
be one of your questions no matter what the interview. How did you feel, why
did you feel that way, what brought you to that point? Tip number 22, for revealing interviews, share your story first. So this falls under the
reciprocity category. If you say, well, you know what? I had a situation like
that that happened to me and I did x, y and z and especially if this is
a very emotional interview because that’ll give an opportunity for the person to open up to you. Tip 23, throw a curve ball. So if you’re doing a lot
of interviews in sports hence the sports metaphor, you will often run into the same question. We did a lot of interviewing
for IndyCar and honest to God, when you’re interviewing race car drivers, you get the same question or you’re asking the same
question again and again and they get bored
answering the same question again and again so why
not throw a curve ball like hey, if you were the commissioner, what rule would you wanna change or which teammate do you think would be the greatest
contestant on Survivor? Be silly about it, have fun
because they’ll have fun. You’ll see them light up getting asked a completely
different question. Tip number 24, repeat back the story in the middle of the interview. So I’m often conducting
very technical interviews and I’m always fearing that I’m getting the information incorrect so I will often stop the
interview at a point and say, alright, I think I’ve got this, I’m gonna repeat back to
you what I think this is and then please correct me if I’m wrong and it’s excellent because
they always fill in gaps to the story when you do that. Tip number 25, repeat
questions in different ways. So sometimes, your
interviewees are gonna be coy or sometimes they’re just not
giving you a good sound bite. You can always ask a
question again by saying, this may be stupid but and then ask. Tip 26, get them to talk
about what they really love. Throw that in the middle of it. So what did you really love about this? What got you so jazzed
and excited about this? Tip 27, trick them into
getting the sound bite that you want. You can just say, so would you say this was the best event
you’ve ever been to and they’ll inevitably go, yes, this was the best
event I’ve ever been to. Boom, you now got your sound bite. Tip 28, let the interviewee
ask their own question and this is just a good thing to throw in at the end of an interview. You’ve wrapped everything
up and you just go, before I close, is there anything
else you would like to add and inevitably, there’s something
else they’d like to add. Tip number 29, let subject
read article for accuracy or don’t. So for journalists, this is a big no no. It’s a heresy. It’s irritating when PR people ask for it but I will tell you, for
super technical information and you don’t have a tech editor, you may actually have to
show portions of your article for clarification. And the last tip, number 30,
practice, practice, practice and this is especially true for podcasting ’cause when you start a podcast, it’s always kinda lame at the beginning. So I always recommend first when you’re doing your very first episodes to interview people that
are very friendly to you that won’t mind you
making a lot of mistakes at the beginning because you will. Just accept that fact and you’ll get better over time. Alright, you’ll find the
link to this full article in the description below. If you want more fun,
valuable and entertaining content marketing tips,
don’t forget to subscribe.

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