“That interview went really well,” you exclaim, as your camera crew wraps up. Then you get back to the edit suite and realize that it’s going to a looooong night of cutting and pasting ho-hum segments to make a story. If only there were an Authenticity Setting in your software to change those canned, corporate-safe answers into compelling soundbites.
Thank goodness for Alex Bloomberg.
Former producer for This American Life and Planet Money, Bloomberg shared his secrets to conducting great interviews in his 40-minute master class, available here. (warning: sound file will begin playing).
The entire thing is worth a listen, but the first 20 minutes are gold for anyone responsible for creating videos/podcasts that employees actually care about.
A few gems:
- Avoid Yes/No questions.
- Know when to be quiet so your interviewee keeps talking.
- Ask questions that elicit an honest emotional reaction or prompt the interviewee to tell a story.
- To prompt a story response, use statements like:
- “Tell me about the time when…”
- “Tell me when you realized…”
- “Describe the conversation…”
- “What are the steps that got you from Point A to Point B?”
- To prompt an emotional response, use statements like:
- “How did X make you feel?”
- “If the old you, could see the new you, what would they say?”
- “You seem very confident about X right now. Was that always the case?”
- “Describe the debate you had in your head about X.”
“What do you make of that?”
Bloomberg knows the connection between a good interview and a great story. Be sure to check out his interview with Tim Ferriss.