The Ultimate Interview Guide
Nailing the interview always feels impossible but this simple collection of tips can make the difference between a rambling mess and the perfect soundbite.
For the interviewer
Now, these may seem obvious but following these tips will ensure your interview is clean, precise and enjoyable.
1. Check for Background Noise
There’s little worse than filming an entire interview and realising all too late that an aircon was on the whole time and has messed up your audio. Be sure to check for fans, air conditioners, radios, anything which might emit a noise which you may not pick up but your microphone definitely will.
2. Pick the right background
There’s a reason that says the right background and not simply a good background. It is always best to match your backdrop to whatever your topic is. Are you talking about the environment? Why not head outside for a green, grassy backing. Is your topic serious? Look for neutral or cooler colours to avoid an inappropriately cheerful setting.
3. Ask open-ended questions
The best way to get the information you’re looking for is to ask broader questions which direct your interviewee rather than a simple yes/no. Asking “can you give me an example of..” or “can you talk me through…” allows your interviewee to make their points and branch off into unexpected areas, leading to a much more interesting interview.
4. “Is there anything else you’d like to add”
An interviewer’s secret weapon! This question will often serve as your saving grace as time and time again the juiciest parts of the interview are revealed in the final moments.
5. Ask multiple times
It may seem counterintuitive but this is how you get that perfect soundbite. Once you’ve asked your questions and gotten what is often a long-winded and rambling response, don’t be afraid to ask the same question a second or third time. With each time, the answer will become clearer and more succinct.
For the interviewee
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or this is your first time in front of the camera, these simple tips will help keep your answers clear and your nerves calmed.
6. Think about your points
Commit some time beforehand and work out exactly what you want to express. There’s no need to practice and perfect an answer but know what points you want to hit.
7. Make the same point several times
This isn’t a test, you won’t get marked down for saying the same thing twice. If you have a point and you’re worried you didn’t express it clearly enough or it simply is relevant again, feel free to make it again. It will help keep you feeling confident and in many cases, it is exactly what the interviewer is after.
8. Always check the mirror
The simplest tip there is. A quick check in the mirror will not only help you feel confident in front of the camera but it ensures there won’t be any nasty surprises once the interview is broadcast. It’s tough to focus on what someone’s saying when they have a leaf of parsley covering their tooth.