Talking to people comes easy, but when it comes to setting down for an interview, things can get a little weird and be a little uncomfortable if it’s not something that you regularly do. A good interview takes some preparation on the part of the interviewer.
It is important to develop your own interview style. It’s okay to watch or listen to other interviews and see how other people approach interviewing someone, but how you interview someone should completely be your own style. It’s also okay to reach out to people with more interview experience and ask them for some tips and tricks they might use during interviews to help you find your own style.
When interviewing someone, researching the person or the topic the person is talking about is important. As you are going through the research, start writing out the questions you are going to ask in a clear, concise, and organized manner. If the original question should garner a follow up question, be prepared. This is where the additional research will come in handy! Being well versed on the topic will also help keep the interview on track incase the person you are interviewing gets off topic very easily.
Word choice throughout the interview is also very important. Try not to use filler words like “um” and “like” when you’re not completely sure what to say. Eliminate your crutch words!
When it comes to the actual interview, be respectful and engaged in the topic! This should go without saying, but we often need to be reminded. Sometimes the person you are interviewing won’t share the same feelings on the topic as you but respecting their response can go a long way during the interview. Also remember, the more respect you show, the more willing they will be to answer more personal or tougher questions throughout the interview. And don’t forget, do not speak over them while they are talking! Not only will you miss their response and not be able to respond or ask a follow up question, but the listeners will also miss the response.
Remember, practice makes perfect. Before even sitting down for the interview, practice your introduction, make sure you know how to pronounce names and locations, and run through the questions to make sure that you covering everything during the interview. It’s okay to be nervous. Take a couple extra deep breaths and your interview will go great!
Mitch Levy has spent nearly 30 years in radio and sports broadcasting after earning a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse. Read more of his advice for the radio industry or check out his Twitter!