Tips for Leading Great Interviews

Interviews are a fantastic opportunity to learn new things about what is happening in your relevant community. Hearing what other people have to say about topics can help shape your views and improve many skills through education. However, a great interview can be difficult to lead. Luckily, there are some tips to keep in mind that can help you lead interviews that result in quality content and information.

The ability to lead a great interview stems mostly from having good conversation skills. You need to be able to consistently keep the discussion moving, even after an awkward lull or dead moment. This expertise is incredibly useful and can be applied to all areas of communication.

Prepare for the Interview, but Don’t Follow a Script

It’s easy to go overboard in preparations. You want to lead the best interview possible, and it’s often thought that that means preparing a script of questions to go through one by one. However, this is the easiest way to kill the spark of a good interview. Treat it like a conversation and let things flow naturally from topic to topic.

With that said, you should still prepare beforehand. It’s helpful to perform a bit of research on the person you will be interviewing so you have conversation starters. Doing this could also help you know what topics to avoid in conversation, as well. Don’t get carried away and let your research overtake the natural vibe of connection, though.

Use Silence to Your Advantage

Although pauses and moments of silence in an interview can often be awkward, there are ways you can intentionally use these to your advantage. Sometimes, short moments of silence can, in fact, cause the person you are interviewing to say more and expand upon their answer.

A good practice is to pause between three and five seconds after each answer your subject gives. In many cases, this could cause the other person to add more to their answer. By not jumping to respond too quickly, you allow them to pause and think about their answer, which often leads them to say more.

In the end, the most important thing you can do is listen to the person you are interviewing. Human beings naturally have an ego and an urge to talk about themselves. However, an interview is not the place for this. Resist the urge to tell your own story; instead, make it all about your subject. After all, that is the point of conducting the interview.

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