Conduct Outstanding Interviews for Articles, Blog Posts & Podcasts | Theresa Christine | Skillshare

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Conduct Outstanding Interviews for Articles, Blog Posts & Podcasts

teacher avatar Theresa Christine, Freelance Travel Writer + Blogger

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome to class! What you need to know


    • 2.

      What you need & some useful links


    • 3.

      What makes a good interview?


    • 4.

      Options on how to conduct your interview


    • 5.

      Preparing your questions and discussion topics


    • 6.

      Useful tools for your interview


    • 7.

      How to deal when things go wrong


    • 8.

      Helpful tips and advice to make things easier


    • 9.

      Moving forward


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About This Class

Interviewing someone—whether it's for an article you're writing, a blog post, or your own podcast—is a stressful experience. But the result is incredibly rewarding, helping to make the content you create vibrant and highly engaging. Imagine the ways your content will come to life with another voice added to it!

You can conduct Q&As on your blog of people involved in your field.
You can make articles for magazines or online publications more vibrant with useful sources.
You can engage your listeners on a topic more with another person's opinion. 

This course will help you get comfortable and prepare for interviews, whether it's via email, on the phone, in person, or for live recording. It will cover:

  • How to prepare
  • The benefits and downsides of different ways you can interview people
  • How to solve problems you may run into
  • Some of the best tips and practices to get you comfortable

I've also conducted an interview for this class so you can see this information in action. You can learn more about this in the second video.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Theresa Christine

Freelance Travel Writer + Blogger



Growing up, I'd only ever written for my own personal enjoyment. Then, in 2013, I started a travel blog and it changed everything. Through my blog Tremendous Times I discovered a love, passion, and talent for writing that has transformed into a full-time, fulfilling career as a travel writer.



When I started focusing on travel writing, I put a pause on my blog for a while. I'm now in the process of revamping it (v exciting!), but I still kept up my bi-weekly(ish) email updates. My newsletter, Delve, continues to be the place where I have the most intimate and honest conversations with the people who follow me. It's the kind of stuff I can't pitch to a magazine, but I still want to share. 


Aside fro... See full profile

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1. Welcome to class! What you need to know: Hi, my name is Teresa Christine, and I am a freelance travel writer and a blogger, and I'm really excited to have you in this class. It's all about preparing for interviews and conducting great interviews. If you have a blog, or you are a freelance writer, or you are running a podcast, you'll find that your content will really come to life when you include other people and so that means that you have to interview them. This can be really scary at first, I remember my first on the phone interview, I was so frightened. But I've found through experience that there are ways to really prepare and be ready for it so that you can go in feeling a little bit of that nervous excitement. But you still go in feeling prepared, and that's what this course is all about. So whether you're a blogger or you are writing an assignment for an online publication or a print publication, or you're looking to have a guest on your podcast, then this course will help you prepare so that you can go in feeling ready for this interview. In the next video, I'm going to talk a little bit about your tasks and kind of what you're going to be working on. Basically, by the end of this class, you'll feel ready to interview someone, and what makes this class especially interesting is that I have actually conducted an interview for you. So I do it live and I share the link with you so you can check out the entire interview and I include clips of the interview throughout class. I'm really excited for you to get to experience that and see where interviews can go wrong, where they can go right and how to deal with it. When you are ready to get started with this class, you can move on to the next video. I'm so excited to have you here. 2. What you need & some useful links: Hi, and welcome to class. Now before we get started with all the lessons, I do want to talk really quickly about your project for class, and conscious for what you're going to be working on and what you're going to need. Now aside from a place to take notes, you're not going to really need too much. But, what about your project? What are you going to be working on? By the end of this class, you're going to be prepared for an interview. That means that you need to choose somebody to interview. This could be something that you might be working on currently, so if you've got an assignment, maybe you're working on a blog post or you have a podcast, this is the great opportunity to go through these tips, and go through this advice, and really get prepared for an interview. You might go ahead and look to some of your past work, past assignments, pass blog posts, past podcast episodes, and think about who you could have included, who might have really brought that content to life? You can also just pick somebody that you're interested in getting to know better, you obviously in an ideal world, you're picking somebody that you might actually really be interviewing or might actually have the chance to interview. But you can go ahead if you just wanting to get some practice in, then you can just pick somebody famous if you want, you can pick Lady Gaga, whatever you want. The steps in this course are going to prepare you for the interview. Now, for class I've gone ahead and actually recorded an interview for you, so this was really fun to do. I interviewed a fellow top teacher, who I will introduce you to in just a moment, and I thought this would be a good opportunity for you to hear, what it is that I'm talking about and to see these talking points that I'm bringing up in the class in action. Now, I'm including soundbites from this interview throughout the entire course, and I'm going to share a link with you so that you can go and listen to the entire interview if you want. It's about 15 minutes. It's got some really good information in it, and it's just a good exercise, I'll share that with you in just a moment. But before I even talk about who I interviewed, I had to figure out why I was interviewing this person and decide on who I would interview, so I made a mock assignment for myself. It is a post on the not so obvious advice for branding a small business. This is for an online publication, they want me to have two-to-three resources, so I need to interview a few people. That's why I decided to interview Everett Bowes. He is the chief brand strategist at We Talk Branding. He's worked with big brands that you might have heard of, like Apple and Johnson, and Johnson, he's worked with smaller brands as well. He's got a lot of experience, and I loved on his website that he said, they developed the Human Properties of Brands. I felt like that was really like very at the heart of something about branding, and that's why I was really interested in chatting with him. He's also a top teacher on skill share, so I figured our interview would give you, the student a really great chance to hear about branding yourself, as an entrepreneur or small business person, he's got some really great stuff to say. He also posted this image in a skill share group. This is one of the reasons why I was like, this is not so obvious advice about branding because I don think I've heard about archetypes in branding and this image, he's basically saying, that you need to pick one of these characteristics and that's your identity at your your archetype as a brand. It's not something that he created necessarily, but this image he did create, and so I wanted to talk to him more about archetypes in branding. You can see the link there on the left, if you want to go ahead and download this image, you can go there and do that. These links are for the interview. Again, I include soundbites in this class so you do not have to go and listen to the whole thing if you don't want to. I highly encourage you to, because it's such a great interview and Everett has wonderful advice for people who are doing this as a side hustle, who have eye aside hustle, a small business. The top link will go to a Google Drive download. It will say that it can't process it, so you just go ahead and hit download and you've got it on your computer. The bottom link is for YouTube. If you'd rather just hop online, and there's nothing to actually watch there, it's just a picture of me and Everett, but you can hear the audio. Whichever one works for you, and I put notes there about, the tricky letters in there, so pay attention to that when you're typing it in. I'll also include this in the note section as well. Moving forward, I want you to just start thinking about who you'd like to interview. You don't have to decide right now, but in a couple of classes we will be wanting to narrow that down. Think about it right now, let it sit with you for a bit and when you are ready, you can move on to the next video. 3. What makes a good interview?: Hi, and welcome back to class. This lesson is going to explore what makes a good interview. Before we go into how you can prepare for an interview, the things that you should do. We just need to talk about what is a good interview. Now I believe that a good interview should feel more like a discussion. It shouldn't just be this rapid fire question one after the other. You're going to be doing a lot of preparation in this class and going into an interview, you might be feeling a little nervous. It's really easy to clean to those questions and just ask them one after the other. But you want to try and learn how to balance asking questions with listening. This is a skill that you'll develop through experience. It's something that you can develop, not even just conducting interviews necessarily, but in your interactions with other people. I really do think this is important especially with podcasts. I always find it really interesting you hear podcasts where I don't even know who the guest is necessarily like if I had no information about it, it just feels like two people chatting. That I think is really cool. But it's also important for whatever your assignment is or for whatever purposes you're doing an interview for, because it gets the person to relax and it gets them to open up. When you can do that, that's when you get the really good stuff. That's when they feel like they're connecting with you. You're connecting with them and they're going to tell you things. But they're not going to say normally necessarily. You get them to really loosen up basically. One of the things you want to make sure in order to help do this is do not just start with the questions. Don't just jump in and say, let's get started, let's get going and ask your first question. In an interview, I always think it's a great idea to start with some small talk. Get them to loosen up and get them a little bit comfortable first. You also want to make sure that this person feels heard. You do have to listen, you have to hear what they're saying and actually process it. When you're doing some unscripted questions at the beginning, just like, how was your day? How's work going? Whatever it is that you decide to ask. This is a chance for you to respond off the cuff and get a sense for who this person is. You can listen to how I segue into a new question with Everett about halfway through minute seven. I try and take information what he was telling me and use it to propel us into the next topic that I want to talk about. That's what your brilliant personality is going to do, it gives you the bumpers and it keeps it in your lane. It focuses you in everything that you say, do your actions, your values, and your everything. Got it. When we are trying to create that bumper because this is something I've struggled with as well. I talk so much to my students about an ideal clients and honing in on one person because it makes things more personable and it actually widens your audience when you actually hone in on stuff. On the flip side, if I'm branding myself like, what is my first big step in determining my archetype? This one is obvious, but a good interview should happen in a quiet area, as quiet as you can possibly make it. It's not always going to happen, but you just want to do your best. I live close to a hospitals sometimes during my interviews, you'll hear an ambulance in the background. You can't always control everything, but you want to try and control as much as you can to get the best audio that you can. Even if you're not recording audio, it's just so distracting when you hear stuff going on in the background or when your guess that you're speaking to you hear stuff in the background, so try and keep things as quiet as possible. I'd also say, in talking about the audio, if your interviewee is talking to you and you can't hear them, you can't understand them, ask them to repeat themselves. That is totally okay. I've had to ask people to spell things for me sometimes. If you're talking with someone and it's a very technical topic, it's good for you to know what it is that you're talking about. Don't be afraid to ask them to repeat themselves. It's good information if you're needing to write stuff down. It's also good information if you're having a podcast, because with podcasts you can edit out the parts that didn't make sense or the parts that didn't sound good. When they repeat it, that's the section you can include. I also believe a good interview is one where you get a sense of where the story can go before you are finished talking with this person. This is a tricky thing. I almost feel like it's something you won't know until you experience it, until you do an interview. But if you've done enough of your research beforehand, which we are going to be talking about in the coming lessons. Then there will reach a point in the interview where you realize you have the information you need and that you've got this story there. That's really, really cool feeling. I love that feeling. During my interview with Everett actually almost at the very end, he says something that I just feel really ties everything together. I even mentioned to him that I love that last hints that he says. Understanding who you are in the context of who you're aiming at, in the context of your competitive landscape, that's everything, that's all that branding is. It's understanding that inner play and then figuring out what are you going to do about this. Then how do you reach in, and go and, market and, broadcast to all that stuff. A good interview is also only as long as it needs to be. This is a bit of scarcity mentality in some ways because you think, well, I just want all the information that I can possibly get from this person. But you're actually making it harder on yourself if you have all of this information, an hour-long interview for something that you don't really need that much for. It really truly is going to make things more focused for you in the end. It's going to be easier for you to write that blog post, to write that article, to edit the podcast. The way I like to think about it is, why should you conduct an hour-long interview with someone? If you're really going to only need three quotes from them, or five minutes of an interview. That's just wasting your time essentially. You want to go ahead and try and cut it down, and part of that is with the prep and making sure that you have very focused questions. Now both my interview with Everett I was hoping it was going to be between 5-10 minutes. It's more about 15 minutes long with about a three-minute intro or just doing some small talk. It's not terribly long. He says a lot of great stuff too, with this mark assignment that I have. I feel like he could be a person that I can refer to in a couple of different talking points throughout the piece. But looking back, I definitely think there were a few points that I could have stepped in and directed the conversation a little bit more. That's totally natural. Like I said, 15 minutes isn't terribly long, but if you're really wanted to be conscious of your time and the person's time with whom you're speaking to. Then you want to learn how to direct that conversation. I will have some advice later on in this course about how you can do that successfully and have it not feel weird. For this task, I want you to check out a couple of great interviews. My next guest needs no introduction is on Netflix. It doesn't matter how you feel about Barack Obama. This interview is amazing. Obviously, David Letterman, who is the host, has decades of experience interviewing people. He is great to watch, they have such good chemistry and such a good talk on stage. Got to grow crush interview with Ayesha Siddiqui. This is an interview that I conducted and it was a written Q&A format. I really like it because actually the way that the questions appear in the article, it's pretty much how our conversation went. That's really cool. Neil deGrasse Tyson has a podcast called StarTalk. Any of those are really fun to check out. I think Rolling Stone does some really fun long-form interviews and pieces. I selected this one about Janelle Monae. Check that one out. You can also just check their long form section online. It's very good. Then there's an article, I think it's an entrepreneur or maybe Fastco. It's one of those sites. How to find friends when you move for your job. I selected this one because there are different talking points and different quotes from people that are used. The person who wrote this interviewed multiple people, pulled quotes from them and included it in the piece. Go ahead, check some of these out and when you're ready, you can move on to the next lesson. 4. Options on how to conduct your interview: Hi, welcome back to class. This lesson is going to dive into the different ways you can conduct your interviews and the pros and cons about each of them. I'm going to go ahead and focus on three of them. So you can conduct your interview via email, you can do an audio only or you might do it, actually seeing the person, so either Skype video or in person. None of these are wrong or right. Once you know that for sure, it really depends on what it is that you're doing this interview for. Obviously, if you're doing a podcast, more than likely it's audio only, but you might need some of that email information. Because I've listened to podcasts where you hear the host and the guest talking, but then the host also talks directly to the listener for a section, so it cuts away. All of these are totally applicable, no matter if you're blogging, writing an assignment, or doing a podcast. If you want to hear what it is that I'm talking about, the 99 percent invisible podcast does that thing where it cuts away with the host talking to the listener. You just have to examine what your comfort level is and the circumstances and go from there. But then also, I have got some pros and cons here. So via email, this is how I started conducting interviews many, many years ago. This is an easy option because you basically, you put in a lot of work, you write the good questions and then you send them off, and then you just wait until you get the responses. If you have a lot of questions, you don't have to feel like you're giving the person you're talking to fatigue by asking a bunch of them, and you can also give them the time to respond thoughtfully. So sometimes people get a little bit nervous when they're chatting to somebody and they really appreciate sitting down and thinking about what it is that they want to say. A big bonus, you're going to have the person's exact words. You don't need to transcribe, there's not going to be anything afterwards where they're like, well, I don't think if I said that, you've got a written account of it. Downsides to this is you really just can't read the room at the moment, so it's hard to direct the information you receive. So I was talking in one of the past lessons about how I wanted to maybe make my interview a little bit shorter with effect, and then I could have redirected the conversation a little bit more. That's something over email you just cannot do. You might also receive responses that are way too long or way too short. I have to say, I would so much rather have way too long and just have to wait through info, the way to short responses are so hard to deal with. I've had to put together some articles with very short responses and it's quite a challenge. Also, because people have the time to craft their responses, responses can feel not so natural. Now, here I put like my hot take on things. Remember, none of these is good or bad. I do think this is a great option if you're just starting out because you can work on crafting really great questions. Also, if you want to just turn on a lot of content, you can do that with email because you can send out five emails, and get five sets of responses back and turn those into whatever it is that you need to turn into. Downside view, it can feel formulaic, but if you're working on really good questions, you might get some really awesome responses, and I do think that this is just overall a handy way to fill in the blanks. If you've conducted another interview with this person and you just have another question that you need to ask them. You can always do it over email. Now, let's talk about audio interviews. I love this. This is my favorite way to do interviews because you can ensure that you get the right information by asking the right questions. Essentially, you can read the room and say, they're not quite answering. What it is that I'm curious about, how can I dig deeper on this? It feels more personal because you get to hear the person's voice, they get hear your voice, so you can connect a little bit more on a personal level. You also just get a better sense of who they are, so if you're writing anything, any kind of notes about this person's characteristics or their mannerisms you can hear that when you're chatting with them. That's pretty cool too. You also get more natural unscripted responses. Now I will say I sometimes have people ask me if I can send them questions beforehand and I really try and avoid doing this. Instead of sending them the questions, I'll send them the topics. I'll say, well, this is what I'm interested in chatting with you about. So that way they can start thinking about those things, but they're not going to have just a written response that they'll basically read to me because I don't want that. The whole point of chatting with someone like this is so that its natural. You do have to learn how to take great notes during an audio interview or you have to record it and then transcribe it. I hate transcribing, that's probably not going to be the only time I say it in this class, I have found some tools so that make it much better, so I don't hate it quite so much anymore. But to transcribe something myself, I really don't like doing. So you have to get better at taking notes. You will have to deal with technical issues at some point, it's a bummer, but you just have to be thinking on your feet and willing to work through those issues. You also might encounter people who ramble, maybe they're a little uncomfortable, they go off on tangents, so you have to learn how to direct the conversation. This isn't necessarily bad, it's something where people are trying to fill in the blanks, the person you're chatting with really wants to give you the right information and so they might feel a little unfocused. You also have to work on really balancing, listening to the person, staying focused on the discussion and taking notes. So it can be a little bit challenging, again, practice will really help with this. At the bottom here I said that it's tried and true, it takes a little bit of practice though. It will take a little bit of willingness to deal with technical issues, but if you're prepared, you will be okay. I do think that their first audio interview is very nerve-wracking, but just remember with good preparation, you're good to go and you can always have email as a secondary option. Let's talk about Skype video or in person interviews. You really get a sense for the person, so it makes for a really amazing content. If you have any comments in an article or a blog post that you will include in your podcast about what this person is like, their mannerisms and stuff, you will get to witness it. You also get natural responses, which is really nice. Because the interviewee can see you, this can automatically put them at ease because you're right there, you are a person, a real human being in front of them. You're also not relying on tech, so dealing with technical issues is a non issue. You might be recording the interview, but other than that, you don't have to worry about Internet and things like that. Of course downsides, you will have to somehow meet up with this person, so it requires travel time if you're headed to them, so there and back. If you're doing a passion project, you're doing a podcast and you have to travel an hour to interview someone in an hour back, that's a lot of your time, so you might decide that you don't want to do in person for that reason. Obviously, that's not applicable to a Skype video, however. For this one you really have to master listening actively along with directing the discussion and taking notes. I usually, with in person interviews, I take notes on my phone and my thumbs are like moving at this rapid pace. Well, I'm actually making eye contact with the person that I'm interviewing. It's something that you have to get used to doing, its listening, writing down the important things they're saying, and then also having a conversation with this person. So really it's perfect for person, place or please space pieces, you get to really have a deep connection, but it can be a little bit stressful. However, I would say that once you are comfortable with these interviews, this might just turn into your favorite type because it's so much fun to do in person interviews. For your task, I want you to now go ahead and select the person you'd like to interview. Like I said, it can be for a blog post, it can be for an article. It can be a guest on your podcast, you can think about something you're working on in the future or you might just look to your past and think about who might have really been an asset to that past assignment. Then I want you to also decide how you would like to interview them. Once you've gone ahead and decided that, you're ready for the next lesson. 5. Preparing your questions and discussion topics: Hello and welcome back to class. This lesson is going to help you prepare the topics and the questions that you want to include with your interview. I promise you, this is really the hardest part, if you do this, the rest is going to feel so, so easy. It's weird, but so much of the work of an interview happens before you even sit down with this person. My first tip is that you want to research like crazy. I usually, when I know I'm interviewing someone, I hop online and I Google like crazy. I look for everything that I possibly can and compile links in just basically a Google document. Social media accounts, websites, blogs, blog posts, videos they've appeared on or worked on, interviews deep down, all of it. All kinds of stuff, but you want to know this because you really have to know who this person is that you're chatting with. This is also going to help you formulate your questions because there's nothing more boring for someone who goes into an interview, so your interviewee, there's nothing more boring for them than to be asked the same questions that they've already been asked before. Your goal is to try and ask new questions. If you find that your question or topic has already been discussed from this person elsewhere, you want to try and approach it differently. Now, how can you do that? Basically, you want to try and dig deeper, you want to try and find a more focused angle on it basically. Let's say that you are interviewing an entrepreneur for a little profile piece on your blog and you were to ask them, "Well, how did you become an entrepreneur? "Well, that's a pretty basic question, first of all, and it's pretty broad. This is more than likely for someone who is an entrepreneur and they've done other interviews, it's something they've gotten asked before. Do you think that there's some way you can get more specific? Let's say you notice on their LinkedIn and they went to school in New York City, you can ask them something about how that shaped their entrepreneurial spirit. You can dig a little bit deeper. Now it's not to say necessarily that you can't include that first question about how did you become an entrepreneur. But once they answer that, then you dig deeper with them. You say, "Well then how did that affect who you are as an entrepreneur?" Dig deeper, go as far as you can to get new information from them. To do that, you have to ask new questions. Yes or no is a no, which basically means you don't want to ask yes or no questions. When I start to sit down and brainstorm questions, I will very often write a lot of yes or no questions down, and then I have to go back and revise them. Yes or no questions are also okay if you just need clarification, but that's fine. Otherwise, again, I'll say it dig deeper. Like I said, it's a fine place to start, you might go ahead and be brainstorming and has to be yes or no questions. But then you want to transform them into something that's much more engaging. I think some good ways to do that are to think about why, how, best and worst, hardest, easiest or asking for their opinion like what do you think about this? Because those are questions that can't be answered in a just one word. That's something that they're going to have to really formulate a thoughtful response for. That's something that you're going to get a much more intriguing answer from. You also want to think about where this story's going to go beforehand. What is the angle? What is the opinion on these things? This is getting into a tricky part that I want to talk about because, you don't want to create the narrative for this person. You never ever want to assume you know their situations or their experiences or their feelings. But you do want to have an idea of where are you going with this story, so that you can create the right kind of questions for them. The way I like to think about it is just basically, you're creating perhaps some of the chapter headings in a book, but their words, that's what's going to fill the story, that's what's going to fill the pages. I have a couple of examples here of things that these might be the focus of what it is that you're diving into, and already you can tell these are somewhat broad stories to go with. Let's say you're talking with an expert or something or someone who's been traveling the world for three years, well, knowing that you want to focus on some of the adventures and mishaps, that's going to help you formulate your questions. Let's go ahead and take that female entrepreneur topic. I don't want to ask her how frustrating is it when someone interrupts you into boardroom, because that's a little presumptuous. I don't like does that happened her? I don't know. Does she find it frustrating? Not sure. I mean, presumably as a woman, I can say that it probably really be frustrating to me, but I don't want to create the narrative for her. Instead, I could ask something else about the biggest challenge she's experienced, what she does in certain situations and just what is her experience like. Diving into questions like that, that's really going to paint the picture much much better. When you think about it, how frustrating is it when someone interrupts you in the boardroom, I mean, well, it's very frustrating, but that could be her response. You want to have something that is going to provide you with more information. Essentially, like I said, you want to have an idea of where the story will go, but the pages of that story come to life because of who you are interviewing. Now, these are some of the questions that I created for every. I think I have eight questions down here, seven, one of them is a two for, and I won't go through all these questions whichever. I actually, I end up moving them around a little bit. I ended up deciding that how can people narrow in on one archetype for their business? That's that last question at the bottom there. I really didn't like that question because I felt like was pretty broad and it could be answered in so many different ways. That's why at the top, the third question is, what would you say is the first big step in determining an archetype? That ones at the top. You'll see I broke it up because I prioritized them. Those top questions and the ones where I'm like, those are the ones I really want to hit. Those bottom questions are the ones where I'm like, maybe we'll get to this kind of topic, maybe we won't or the questions that I just didn't quite like as much. That's going into my next point as I prioritize my questions because you might not need them all. Hopefully you've created a lot of great questions and you get the information you need not necessarily by having to ask all of them, but you can go ahead and move those questions around, going back to it. You can see the second question that I got in there, I actually didn't even get the chance to ask him because as we were chatting, I didn't really feel like it was relevant anymore, so I rearranged my questions as I go along. I started with the general prioritization, a general way that they'll flow well and then I can move them around. If he were to bring something up in the interview that relates to one of those bottom questions, that would be the perfect time to copy and move it up to the top and ask it. You just want to make sure that you're flexible and this requires a little bit of thinking on your feet. It can feel a little bit stressful moving into it. But really, if you can think on your feet just a little bit, you're going to be fine. If you do all of this preparation, you will 100 percent, like I said, be well on your way. Your task for this lesson is to start crafting your questions in your topics. Remember to dig deep. I essentially do free writing when I'm brainstorming my questions, so I'll write down tons of them. Then from there I'll look at them and select the best ones that are high priority, the ones that are low priority and the ones that I'm like, oh no, that was just a bad question. You might not use them all, but just try and order them logically so that when your interview happens or when you're recording a podcast, you're good to go. When you have done this, you are ready to move on to the next lesson. 6. Useful tools for your interview: Hello, and welcome back to class. I want to talk really quickly about some of the useful tools that you can use if you are conducting an interview. Now, if you're trying something out that you've never used before, I definitely recommend getting an a practice run with someone. It's just going to help you work through any of the technical issues so that's just the way to be prepared so try it out beforehand. Now let's say that you are wanting to go ahead and write down notes. You might think if you've got a podcast, you might be like, well I don't need to write down a. It's, still a good idea to keep notes in front of you so that you can stay focused towards your end goal. So this is useful for any kind of medium that you are focusing on here. Obviously old fashion, you can do pen and paper if you'd like. My preferred way to do it is on a text edit document on my computer. I don't like doing an audio interview and taking notes online just because if there's any connectivity issues, I don't want to have to worry about that. So I do a text edit document and then I move it online afterwards. You can also, you can use your phone, you can use the notes app on your phone. If you do this in person, you don't want to just be looking down in your phone no. Again, you have to balance listening and interacting with that person. If you want to record audio for awhile, I was just like, I don't know. Do I want to record the audio? I take notes very quickly and type very fast, so I don't usually use the audio, but you can use quick-time player. I did try this out for a little bit. It's not going to be good quality. You will not be able to transcribe from quick-time player audio file for something that you submit to one of the websites. I'll mention later. You could potentially hire someone to transcribe and they would be able to get it. But it's just, it's lower quality. It'll get the job done though if you want to just have the reference. I would highly recommend ecamm for Skype. This is a really powerful tool. It can record just the audio on both ends. It can also record the video if you'd like. It's automatically, it pops up in there and Skype, it's really easy to use. With that very good quality audio to send to someone to transcribe or the site that I'm going to recommend for transcribing as well. Piezo, I've used this just a few times. It's not attached to Skype, but it's a good option also for audio recording if you're looking for one. Then there's also the notes app on your phone. I have one. It does like an audio recording and you can do a timestamp feature so you can use something like that as well. Also, if you want to record audio, you might be thinking, well, I don't know, do I need to get a special microphone? You don't need to. But I will say that even like your basic headphones that have a little mic and them, they will give you much better quality audio than just talking to your computer directly. So if you can get something like that it's definitely better. Now with transcribing, as I mentioned before, my least favorite thing in the world. But it's sometimes unnecessary beast. It's really nice to see the entire interviewed laid out before you. It's also really good for show notes for a podcast. So your option obviously could hire somebody. I also like to use Temi. I recently discovered it has a free trial with no credit card needed. You just submit a file and it's got this really cool interface and everything where you can look at the audio audio in the text together, it's really nice. I highly recommend them for transcribing and it's pretty affordable. Okay, so for this task, I want you to just go ahead and figure out what tools you're going to need for your interview and which ones you don't. Make sure they give it a go beforehand so that you're comfortable with it. Once you've done that, you can move on to the next lesson. 7. How to deal when things go wrong: Hello. Welcome back to class. This lesson is going to focus on a couple of the troubleshooting things that you can do when things go wrong, because inevitably they will at some point. It's not so much about if things go wrong, is how do you deal with it. First thing, obvious, technical issues. There's that computer there just looking so innocent, and it always seems right when I'm having an interview, something goes wrong with my computer. I've actually just gotten in the habit of restarting my computer right before I do an interview, and I found out that really helps with any of the problems that I might run into. If you are conducting an interview and you're having audio issues, you're having some problem. I highly recommend just pinging that person and saying, "Hey, I'm having some problems, I have to restart my computer." That might totally solve your issues. Now, you might be getting a lot of information from this person and you're struggling to move the conversation forward. I wouldn't say this is necessarily something is going wrong, but you want to make sure that by the time you get through the end of this interview you've got everything that you need, and the person you're interviewing wants to make sure that they've given you what you need. They're looking to you to direct the discussion. So it's your job to redirect it or refocus it. Well, how do you do that without coming off as really rude? Basically, what you're going to do is you essentially politely interrupt them. You go about it in a nice way. I like to phrase it in a positive way, basically just like. "I'm so interested in what you were saying before about this, or I really loved when you were talking about this thing, can you tell me a little bit more about it?" Because that tells them, "Hey, this thing is really interesting to me and it's giving me what I need, elaborate please." They want to give you the information you need.. They're going to be more than happy to chat about that thing more in-depth and forget about whatever it is that they were going to be chatting about and instead go down the path that you're leading them. That's the way to redirect things. Just do it in a positive light essentially. I want you to go ahead and listen to this clip that I did with Everett. At about 14 minutes, I noticed another example that he's talking about and I don't really think it's necessary. I don't feel it's going to be something I use in the final article that I write. I want to try and move things forward. I go ahead and I find a place that I can squeeze in and talk about, "Hey, I'm really interested in this thing. Can you lead me down that road, please?" The same goes to like, let's say cellphones. My mobile phone of choice is the iPhone, I love the iPhone. You can come up to me and say, "Hey, Everett, I have a phone over here. It's cheaper than the iPhone, has better pixel density, greater resolution, faster processor, more memory." Stop right there, I'm going to understand. I'm just not, as I have a connection with Apple and those features don't touch it. When you talk about, I loved what you were talking about, with the personal connection with things and the archetypes are so great because they are really strong personality types. Because we want to be everybody, what can someone do if they're stuck between two of those archetypes, then? Great question. The last problem that you might run into is that the person has prepared responses or they have an agenda. This is one of the reasons why I don't like giving questions beforehand because this is really frustrating. Imagine being the interviewee and feeling like the person who's interviewing you isn't listening. Well, this is essentially the reverse. You are the interviewer and the person you're asking the questions, they're not listening to what you're saying. They've already got what it is that they want to say. It's not necessarily a malicious thing, they might just be really nervous. They're just not totally taking in your questions. I've only in my history of interviewing so many people, I've only had this happen one time. But I did leave the interview feeling like it was the worst interview I had ever done. Because after 30 minutes of chatting with this person, I really didn't get too much from them. That was really frustrating. How can you deal with that? The best way to get them off of their set track is to ask them more personal questions, to ask them for their opinion on things. Because that's going to get them off script. They've got this thing prepared and they feel like, this is what they've got to share with you and this is the valuable information. But when you can break those barriers down and go in with some other questions, that's really useful. Just remember if you're going through an interview and you really feel like this person has up a wall. You can email them as a backup or you can also refer to other sources. I do think there's something to be said about trying to push through and trying to work with an interviewee and get the responses you need. But there's also something to be said by taking a step back and just waiting for a second and saying, "What can I do from here?" With that one interview that I did that I was saying was like my worst one ever, I left it thinking that was terrible. I'm going to have to send a bunch of questions afterwards to the email. I took a day, I looked back on my notes and I was like, I've got some things here that I can work with. It wasn't the best interview. It wasn't totally in depth as I wanted it to be, but I was still able to do something. There's no task for this lesson. These are the kind of things that I just wanted to prep you on so that as you go into your interview, you're prepared. Once you've reviewed all the notes from this lesson, you can move on to the next video. 8. Helpful tips and advice to make things easier: Hi, and welcome back to class. You've done so much prep work for this interview and as I mentioned before, that's really the bulk of it. If you've done the work up until this point, you should be feeling pretty prepared, and now it's just like filling in the blanks. There's little handy tips that I want to share with you that are just going to make your life a little bit easier, and these are specifically for phone or Skype or in-person interviews, which are the ones that I do more commonly than e-mail interviews. I just put together a quick little checklist that I wanted to share with you. First things first, when I'm taking notes on my computer, I use a large font, just so it's easier for me to see. I usually use 18 point font in a text edit, and I like to put spaces in between my questions so that I can see them a little bit easier. You don't have to do this. As I mentioned, these are just tips from my own experience that I've found, make conducting interviews way, way easier. If you're writing notes, you can type notes down if you're really fast. I've gotten to be very, very quick of my notes. You might just decide that you just want to focus on some of the important quotes. You might just go ahead and be recording audio and simply write down the times when you ask new questions, or write down the times when the person says something really poignant or important. It's totally up to you, whatever works best for you. I am very visual. Just hearing something doesn't really resonate with me as much. I like to see things written out and even better, I like to write them myself. That's why I prefer to type as much as I possibly can. Remember that your questions might move around, so adjust the order. Don't freak out about it. Be flexible. If your interviewee brings up a topic that you are going to bring up later on in the interview, move it up, see what happens. It's a little bit scary, but it's also really fun and it definitely makes it so there's a bit more of a flow happening there. As I mentioned before, you can use headphones with a mic. I think that's better than just popping on Skype on your computer and just talking to your laptop or desktop or whatever. It's better audio quality, it leaves your hands free if you're podcasting, having good audio quality is important. You might go ahead and invest in a mic. There are some cheap ones on Amazon so you can check those out. I will say when I was listening to my audio, with Everett , I felt like I sounded distant from the microphone. That's something that in the future, I need to improve. I need to figure out my mic situation. You also want to give yourself some prep time. The worst thing you can do is just sit down one minute before your interview and be like, okay, I need to get my text edit document up, need to get my questions. You're going to run into so many issues. Give yourself time. I am starting to think about stuff about 15 minutes beforehand. Always start with small talk, and always ask if you can record the audio. The small talk obviously gives you the chance to work through technical issues. Gets you the chance to warm up with this person. Asking to record the audio is actually federal law though. So you have to do that. I always let the person know when I'm arranging the interview with them. I say, by the way I'm going to be recording, and then when I'm recording, I still ask them. I have to ask them. If you go ahead and listen to this intro that I have with Everett, it's just a little bit of the intro. I don't jump right into the questions, and I ask him if I can record, and I also ask some things later about like, what's his official title? Because that's information I don't want to have to scramble to figure it out later. Yeah, just a friend mentioned. When you switch from two kids to three, you switch from man coverage to zone defense, and I just thought that was such a great sports analogy. Yeah, we've got a lot to figure out. Yeah, it's going to be a change, but I could change, I hope. Yeah. Yes, it's wonderful. We're excited. Great. I know you probably want to get back to family stuff and everything. Before we get started, I want to make sure it's okay if I record this call for my purposes? Yes, absolutely. Great. Okay. What's your official title? Is it brand strategist at we talk branding? Once your interview is done and come to an end, you might be like, okay, well, how do I finish this up? A few things that you want to do. First of all, thank your interviewee. You want to be honest with them, did you get what you need? Do you feel you still have some research to do, and you might be coming back to them and asking them a few more questions later? Did they bring something up that you need to go and find out more about, let them know. If you need more information from them, and it's not really an if you very well may, whether you think you do or not. Just let them know that you'll reach out if you need anything else and how you'll reach out to them. Going back to that interview that I did with Everett, I thank him. I let them know if I need anything else. The one thing I don't do is, I don't tell them how I'm going to reach out to him. That's something that I should have mentioned. I should've said, "I'll send you an e-mail if I need anything else." I love that, especially that last sentence. That's perfect. Great. Yeah, this has been really helpful. Thank you so much for chatting. I think I've got everything that I need. Wonderful. Yeah, I will be in touch with you if I have any followup questions or anything like that. Perfect. I appreciate it. Thank you so much for reaching out. I really, really appreciate that. Yeah, thank you. Alright. Bye. Bye. What should you do after the interview is done? You've hung up with this person or, however it is that you chatted with them, and now the interview is over. First thing is you want to reach out promptly if you need anything else from them, like photos or any kind of media, If you have more questions. You don't want two weeks to go by and then ping them and be like, oh, by the way, I have this question about something that you'd said. You want to go ahead and review everything pretty shortly afterwards and reach out if you need anything else, this might not always happen. You might end up having to reach out a little bit later than that. But if you let too much time go by, then you just don't want them to put you as a lower priority. They've just gone done with this amazing interview with you. They're excited, and they want to provide anything that they can for you. You can potentially give them a sneak preview of what it is that you're doing. I usually don't do this and I don't honestly have people asked me to do this too much. I have interviewed some corporate clients before or corporate people before, and they actually have to get approval through their business before those things can go live. So it all depends, but in general, I don't do this. It's up to you. If someone is curious, but they're just wondering, I can go ahead and I can say, well, these are the quotes that I'm including from you, and then that way they get to see how they're being represented in a way. Then you also want to share it with the person when it goes live. This is a way to boost the visibility. But really more than that, it's about being respectful to the person you interviewed. They took time out of their lives to chat with you, and so you really want to make sure that you are keeping them in the loop, and there's something swirling around on the internet or in some magazine or on a podcast or whatever it is and their names on it. It's very nice of you to send them a link once it goes live. Your task is to basically just make sure that you are in the right spot. Review your questions for your interviewee. Review what your setup is going to be for your interview and just make sure that you're prepared. You might feel nervous. I must guarantee you're going to a service, but you should feel ready to go into this interview and you'll go in. It might be a little nerve wracking those first few minutes. But then you look in front of you and you'll have all of this information, and I promise it will put you at ease. You'll be, okay, this is way more manageable than I'd ever imagined it would be, and then the next time you do an interview, it gets even easier. Again, you will feel nervous. That's totally normal. You should also feel prepared though. Review everything beforehand and make sure you're ready. Once you've done that, you can move on to the next video. 9. Moving forward: Congratulations, you have made it to the end of class, I'm so proud of you. I know that interviews are really a frightening thing to dive into and every interview is different. But I'm hoping that with all of the information in this course and the example, the interview that I did for you, it really makes things much easier, and that you feel way more prepared now to do your own interview. Again, I want to remind you that this a thing is a skill and so you will get better at it the more that you do it. If you do an interview and it bombs, it's fine. Use it as a learning experience because I promise you the more that you do interviews, the better you will get at them. If you like this course, please let me know how I helped you and leave review, let me know what you liked about the class, because that really helps me as I'm developing my other classes here on Skillshare. Also, I do have quite a number of classes here on Skillshare on writing and blogging, on being a freelancer. I hope that you check those out as well and find some really great resources and information that will help you in your career and in your side hustle. Thank you again, it's been wonderful having you in class. If you have any questions or comments, make sure to put those in the discussion area below and I really look forward to seeing you in another class very soon.