What makes a great live interview? More importantly, why do you need to do a live interview? How will it benefit you?
Online marketing can be tricky. Live streaming can help you get more customer interaction. That’s a given. But having an industry expert helping you explain your product or service adds credibility to your brand. For example, if you’re selling essential oils, you can invite a naturopath to explain their health benefits on one of your live broadcasts.
But there are many things to consider before doing a live interview. For example, interview questions need a lot of forethought. Otherwise, you might end up boring your audience with dull questions. You may also accidentally offend your guest with insensitive questions.
If you’re serious about doing live interviews, then you need to learn the right questions to ask streamers, influencers, and other guests.
How Does InterviewStream Work?
There’s really no need for fancy software to stream the interview. There are plenty of free live streaming platforms that let you record and stream in real-time straight from their app or website.
But if you want to use a streaming software, that’s totally up to you. There are several streaming programs you can use for your live interviews. An example is InterviewStream.
InterviewStream is a video interviewing software. It offers an easy way to interview guests from anywhere in the world. It also comes with an automated interview scheduler. If you need to schedule a lot of interviews on your calendar, this feature will make everything easy for you. You’ll no longer need to keep checking your calendar, as the software will remind you of your next interview schedule. You can think of it as your automated digital planner.
Iits interview builder feature also allows you to create simple interview guides where you can include tailored questions. This comes in handy when somebody else is doing the interview but you want to prepare the questions yourself. Aside from creating a more structured interview experience, it also saves the interviewer a lot of time looking for questions to ask.
Recruitment and hiring teams use this software to help them find top talents. It can also be quite useful for interviewing your guests.
Best Practices for a Live Video Interview
Doing a live stream on your own is hard enough. It’s even harder when you need to interview someone. With two people with different opinions and beliefs sit down together to talk, things become unpredictable. You never know what your guest will say.
If you disagree with your guest’s opinion, how will you handle the situation? Will you voice out your disagreement? And what if they say something taboo, how are you going to respond? These are just some of the things you need to take note of when doing a live interview.
To make things even more complicated, you should be extra careful with your questions so you don’t end up offending your guest.
Interviews are a delicate matter. Lucky for you, we’ve prepared some tips and best practices to help you get started.
1. Preparation is key
Anything can happen in a live event, including tech glitches and mishaps. That’s why you need to be prepared to avoid problems as much as possible. Make sure that your equipment, such as your lights, camera, and microphone, are all working properly. If you’re going to use a green screen, make sure your studio is properly set up for it. Doing these things while you still have time can save you a lot of trouble later on.
2. Have an interview structure
Unstructured interviews often progress just like a normal conversation but with very few, if any, interview questions. While this type of interview may seem more free-flowing, it’s easy to lose track of the flow of conversation. You will look like you lack agenda to your audience. As a result, they may lose interest in your live event and move on. Worst case scenario, you may even lose their trust.
3. Find the right guest
Researching the person you’re going to interview is always a good start. You can Google them or go through their website and social media. If they’ve already made guest appearances in other events or podcasts, you can watch the interview online. Going through their LinkedIn profile can also give you a lot of insight into them.
You can also send a pre-interview survey to your guest. This gives them an idea of how the show will progress and the type of questions you’ll likely ask. In return, you get to gather information about your guest that you won’t find on the Internet or through casual conversations.
This will tell you if the person is a subject matter expert. But just because someone is familiar with the subject doesn’t immediately mean they’re the best person to interview. Your interviewee may be an expert, but are they engaging? Can they explain concepts and ideas in a way anyone can understand? Doing a pre-interview before going live can help you with this.
4. Prepare probing questions
Don’t just ask generic questions that have already been asked before. You’ll just get boring, rehearsed answers. Be creative. You can take questions they’ve been asked before and take them a step further. Ask them to elaborate further on their ideas.
For example, you can say something like, “I know you’ve already talked about X, but I’m having trouble getting a sense of Y. Can you elaborate on that?”
You can achieve two things by doing so. First, you get to present the same topic in a different light, making the conversation more interesting and exciting. Second, your guests will know that you’re actually paying attention to them and what they’re doing.
5. Build rapport
The general tone of any live interview should be friendly and helpful. This will help remove communication barriers between you and your guest.
But to successfully build rapport with your interviewee, you must make a genuine attempt to put them at ease. Give them enough time to adjust to the interview environment. If it’s going to be a remote interview, you can both log in early and have a few minutes of chitchat before going live. This will also help put both of you at ease. Show them how confident you are, and it will rub off on your guest.
6. Keep the conversation flowing
Thirty minutes may not seem like a lot of time. But when you’re interviewing someone, it can feel like an eternity, especially if you’re unprepared. But if you have a lot of ground to cover and interesting questions, half an hour will pass by without you noticing. Try not to waste too much of your time going over your guest’s background and other basic information.
Move to the meat of the conversation as soon as you can. Make your questions direct, clear, and concise. Although you need to build rapport with your guest, you should avoid rambling on about your own thoughts and opinions. There’s a time and place for that. Your viewers want to hear your guest speak, not you.
There will be moments when your guest will go off on a tangent. You can go with them if you feel like it’s something that might interest your listeners. But if they’re going a little too out of topic, don’t be afraid to reel them back in. Take control of the conversation.
7. Listen to your guest
One of the pitfalls of interviewing is obsessing about the next question while your guest is still talking. You may feel like this helps keep the conversation flowing. After all, you do get to ask questions right after the other. But if you don’t listen to your guest, you may completely miss their point. As a result, your response will feel disjointed and awkward.
Obviously, you want to minimize dead air. That’s why you rehearse your next question in your head. But doing so can prevent you from making the conversation flow. Pay close attention to what your guest is saying. Doing so will help you come up with a more natural response. Asking follow-up questions based on their answers can also make the discussion flow more naturally.
8. Learn from the experts
If you’re new to interviewing, you may feel like a fish out of water. After all, it’s a new skill you’re learning. Getting yourself a mentor is the best course of action. However, if you don’t have the budget for that, you can find a master interviewer whose style you like. Watch them closely and study their techniques. Observe what makes them stand out.
Of course, you shouldn’t imitate them. You should still find your own style that will let your personality shine. Listen to your favorite interviewer and take notes. But put your own unique spin on things.
9. Conclude the interview
Don’t just end the interview abruptly. Summarize what you’ve talked about and repeat vital information for those who may have joined the live broadcast late. Also, mention where your listeners can find your guest, such as their social media pages and website. Additionally, add a call to action at the end of your live stream to direct your viewers on what they should do next.
10. Lastly, learn from your mistakes
Now that your interview has ended, it’s time to reflect on your performance. Most live-streaming platforms let you record your video, which will come in handy when it’s time to critique yourself.
How many crutch words, such as “you know”, “like”, etc, did you make? Will the viewers be able to follow the discussion easily? Could you have asked a certain question in fewer words? Play back your interview and listen with a critical ear. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn about your interviewing techniques.