How many times have you been profoundly embarrassed after, watching a rerun of your interview, or reading about it? If you’ve lost count, then it is time for you change the way you interview. It can be an unfair world to live in, when your peer manages get the most interesting quotes and personal anecdotes, while you are left with nervous one word answers.
Though there is no foolproof method to gain the trust of you interviewee, (which on all counts is essential for engaging interviews) you could still follow these simple dos and don’ts can point you in the right direction.
Look like you are in charge
Look composed and in control even if you are feeling like a nervous wreck. To sound nervous, distracted and overly self conscious yourself can make your interviewee feel ill at ease. And don’t blame your recorder if you disjointed words and stutters throughout the conversation. For a moment forget the recorder and tally light. Imagine you are speaking to a friend and you’d be much better off.
Eye contact- wield this weapon with care
You’ve read in every how-to guide that maintaining eye contact throughout the interview is essential. But sometimes it is better break contact and look elsewhere, especially when your interviewee is about to narrate something extremely sensitive, or personal. It can help your interviewee open up a lot easily.
Don’t abruptly switch gears
You need to wrap up soon but that doesn’t mean you rush your subject. And it can be downright rude when you abruptly broach a topic when your interviewee is still answering your last question. Try to connect questions without breaking the flow of the conversation.
Be unobtrusive but don’t merge with the wallpaper
An interviewer has to let the other person do all the talking and try not to interrupt as much as possible. But doesn’t mean you become an inanimate object. Steer the conversation, share insights and don’t hesitate to interrupt if you feel your interviewee is veering off the track or not paying attention to your questions anymore.
Keep your recording out of bounds
There are a lot of interviewers who feel that letting their interviewee go through the recording can make them feel a part of the process and also avoid unnecessary squabbles. But it can be a double edged sword. Some people might ask you delete a few portions or start deciding what goes in and what doesn’t, so after all that homework you will be left with a bland and politically correct interview. Make it clear that what you record stays with you.
To avoid looking conceited or shady, promise a transcript of the interview recording at the earliest. If the thought of going over the conversation again, and typing it out, makes you break out into cold sweat, approach an interview transcription services provider to do the job for you.