Growth Driven

After Interviewing 50 Business Experts, Here's What I've Learned

March 07, 2021 Edwin
Growth Driven
After Interviewing 50 Business Experts, Here's What I've Learned
Chapters
Growth Driven
After Interviewing 50 Business Experts, Here's What I've Learned
Mar 07, 2021
Edwin

https://virtualcmo.expert/

Whether it’s getting an “in” with an influencer, intriguing a new audience or adding a totally unique angle to an existing idea, tapping the right people on the shoulder for their insight with an expert interview is a move that makes a lot of sense for brand publishers.

Have a goal, not a narrative.
Interviewers often try to shape the interview to get experts to say very particular things. They’ve got the story pre-planned in their minds and instead of treating an interview like a fact-finding session, it becomes a sort of game to see how they can get their interviewees to agree with their point of view.

Yes, you need to have a goal for the piece and an idea of the information your audience is hoping to gain from the interview. But no, don’t ask leading questions or try to shove your expert’s experiences into a narrow box.

Study up on your subject. 
Contrary to popular opinion, there IS such thing as a stupid question, and they come when you have no idea about the subject you’re investigating.

Interviewing an expert is not the time to be looking for basic definitions or probing them for statistics you could have found somewhere else. Take the time to fully understand the issue and the angles you’re investigating so that you can hold a conversation without sounding like a redneck at a knitting convention.

As a bonus, look at interviews they’ve done in the past. Are they being asked the same questions over and over again? Look for a different angle or a way to surprise them; in-demand experts love when an interview feels like something new instead of a rehash of past engagements.

Study up on your expert.
Building rapport and creating a comfortable atmosphere is hugely important to an interview. Not only that, but you’ll look completely foolish if you don’t know anything about the person you’re interviewing.

You can impress experts by quoting things they’ve said in the past, researching their position on an issue or making note of some of their accomplishments in the field. You can also put them at ease by making small talk (if they’ve got the time) about some of the things you know they’re passionate about, opening them up to answer some of your tougher or more detailed questions.

Choose open-ended questions.
Yes/No questions don’t really make for great conversation. Your goal is to come up with questions that invite your expert to expand on what you’re asking. Matters of opinion, accounts of past events or even presenting an alternative viewpoint for their commentary are all ways to get them to offer meaningful answers instead of binary responses.

Group questions into topics of discussion.
When you get into the interview, you don’t just want to rattle off questions one by one. You need to be prepared to be fluid with the conversation and to ask the things that get to the heart of the matter. Group the questions you’ve prepared in a way that inspires a natural flow of conversation.

Don’t open with the toughest questions, build up to them. Arrange questions in a way that allows experts to build on their answers to your previous questions. And mentally, learn to treat an interview like a discussion on a topic instead of a Q&A period.

Show Notes

https://virtualcmo.expert/

Whether it’s getting an “in” with an influencer, intriguing a new audience or adding a totally unique angle to an existing idea, tapping the right people on the shoulder for their insight with an expert interview is a move that makes a lot of sense for brand publishers.

Have a goal, not a narrative.
Interviewers often try to shape the interview to get experts to say very particular things. They’ve got the story pre-planned in their minds and instead of treating an interview like a fact-finding session, it becomes a sort of game to see how they can get their interviewees to agree with their point of view.

Yes, you need to have a goal for the piece and an idea of the information your audience is hoping to gain from the interview. But no, don’t ask leading questions or try to shove your expert’s experiences into a narrow box.

Study up on your subject. 
Contrary to popular opinion, there IS such thing as a stupid question, and they come when you have no idea about the subject you’re investigating.

Interviewing an expert is not the time to be looking for basic definitions or probing them for statistics you could have found somewhere else. Take the time to fully understand the issue and the angles you’re investigating so that you can hold a conversation without sounding like a redneck at a knitting convention.

As a bonus, look at interviews they’ve done in the past. Are they being asked the same questions over and over again? Look for a different angle or a way to surprise them; in-demand experts love when an interview feels like something new instead of a rehash of past engagements.

Study up on your expert.
Building rapport and creating a comfortable atmosphere is hugely important to an interview. Not only that, but you’ll look completely foolish if you don’t know anything about the person you’re interviewing.

You can impress experts by quoting things they’ve said in the past, researching their position on an issue or making note of some of their accomplishments in the field. You can also put them at ease by making small talk (if they’ve got the time) about some of the things you know they’re passionate about, opening them up to answer some of your tougher or more detailed questions.

Choose open-ended questions.
Yes/No questions don’t really make for great conversation. Your goal is to come up with questions that invite your expert to expand on what you’re asking. Matters of opinion, accounts of past events or even presenting an alternative viewpoint for their commentary are all ways to get them to offer meaningful answers instead of binary responses.

Group questions into topics of discussion.
When you get into the interview, you don’t just want to rattle off questions one by one. You need to be prepared to be fluid with the conversation and to ask the things that get to the heart of the matter. Group the questions you’ve prepared in a way that inspires a natural flow of conversation.

Don’t open with the toughest questions, build up to them. Arrange questions in a way that allows experts to build on their answers to your previous questions. And mentally, learn to treat an interview like a discussion on a topic instead of a Q&A period.