Back when nobody read this blog other then my mom and I, I used to interview people and got a pretty good response. I think it was because of my technique. Now I get a lot of interview requests… sometimes as many as 5 per day. Most come via the contact form and most I never respond to. Why? Well I like to do interviews but if they become “work” then most of the time I just ignore them. So I thought I would write a “how to do a interview” post.
The DO NOT list:
DO NOT email the person asking if you can interview them. This is a waste of time. Instead just send your questions.
DO NOT list all the other people you have interviewed and try to “con” the person into participating in your interview. I do not know why but this seems to have become a popular technique. Odds are people either 1) do not care or 2) do not like the other people you are interviewing.
DO NOT miss spell the persons name you are trying to interview.
DO NOT ask questions that can be easily answered by reading the persons about page. People put those pages up for a reason and its very annoying when people ask you those questions.
DO NOT expect the person will link to the article.
The DO list:
DO a VERY brief introduction on who you are, the context of the interview, and where the interview will be posted.
DO let the person know you have already collected some basic information on them and will post that prior to the questions in the interview.
DO a search for the person’s name you interviewing in Google like “Jeremy Schoemaker interview” and see what they have said in other interviews. Try not to ask the same questions others have asked.
DO try to ask something the person would be interested in. Ask about their latest project or something they are excited about. This also shows you are not just firing away the same email to as many people as possible.
DO ask controversial questions. Everyone has opinions and most of them will share them. Its quite possible you are giving the person a stage they have wanted on a issue they have wanted to share their opinion about. I respect people that ask hard hitting controversial questions. It also usually shows they have taken the time to know what makes me tick and what I am passionate about.
DO a follow up email with the URL and thank the person for their time.
So those are my tips for getting responses in interviews. Do you have any tips to add?