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Re: [videoblogging] Re: If you conduct interviews, I would like your opinion

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  • Ed Smith
    Hi Robert, wow, what a great list of things to do/not do in order to conduct a knockout interview. You really hit on some good stuff there. I like the point
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 3, 2007
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      Hi Robert, wow, what a great list of things to do/not do in order to conduct
      a knockout interview. You really hit on some good stuff there. I like the
      point of clarifying jargon with the point of view of the listener in mind.
      You see that missed so many times I know we all need to hear that again and
      again.

      I just added a post to the
      http://www.conductknockoutbroadcastinterviews.com/blog/ that suggests we
      move our dress code up a notch when doing interviews that the guest and/or
      listeners will not see. I think our dress affects our performance in subtle
      ways and will help us focus on the things you have suggested.

      OK, Robert, thanks for that great info, and please continue to offer
      suggestions, comments, etc.

      Edward W. Smith.

      On 9/2/07, Robert Scoble <robertscoble@...> wrote:
      >
      > I've interviewed many of tech's biggest names (Gates, Schwartz,
      > Chambers,
      > Ballmer, etc) for my video show, ScobleShow.com.
      >
      > Some things I've learned:
      >
      > 1) Don't go for "gotcha" questions. These people all are very astute at
      > answering questions (at Microsoft they prepare execs for the press by
      > doing
      > "rude Q&A" sessions). They'll turn your rudest question into something
      > they
      > want to ask. That strategy never works and usually ensures you won't be
      > invited back.
      >
      > 2) Instead, ask at least one question they've never been asked before.
      > With Gates I knew he'd been asked any question I could come up with so I
      > turned it around: asked him what he'd ask the world's richest guy if he
      > were
      > in my position.
      >
      > 3) Do your homework. Know what your interviewee will probably say
      > BEFORE he/she says it.
      >
      > 4) Listen. My best questions came AFTER they said something and I asked
      > for more in depth. Best followup? "Why do you say that?"
      >
      > 5) If you hear jargon ask them to clarify. Often times this brings up
      > some interesting stuff. For instance, if I were interviewing Marc
      > Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and he talked about "the social graph"
      > I'd
      > ask "some of my listeners don't know what you mean by 'social graph', can
      > you give us a short definition and explain what you mean by that?"
      >
      > 6) Have a thesis for the interview. If you interview someone
      > interesting there are 100 ways you could take the interview. I'd focus it
      > on
      > one theme and try to get them to tell a story with your questions. Lead
      > them
      > down a path. If you're asking Gates about how he took over the operating
      > system business, for instance, I'd ask him a question about his high
      > school/college experience, then early days at Microsoft, then ask about
      > the
      > DOS purchase, etc etc.
      >
      > 7) Have an outline of questions to ask, particularly if you'll be
      > nervous. With Gates I started out very nervous, but then I calmed down and
      > my brain started working again. That's when you can start having a
      > conversation and not just going off of your prepared questions.
      >
      > 8) Listen, listen, listen. I always look my interviewer in the eyes and
      > try to give them 110% of my attention. That leads to a better interview.
      > When I'm distracted or not totally focused for some reason I find
      > interviews
      > don't get as interesting.
      >
      > 9) Start out with stupider questions just to get you both going. That's
      > why I ask EVERY INTERVIEW "who are you?" and "what do you do?" Those two
      > questions aren't really all that important, but they both get us going and
      > also give your heart a chance to calm down (if you're interviewing someone
      > famous) and also get you into the listening mode. Often times people will
      > say something interesting in response to the "what do you do?" question.
      > John Chambers, CEO at Cisco, for instance, talked about his being a
      > father.
      > That opened up a part of his life that makes for great conversations.
      >
      > 10) Listen, listen, listen. It's amazing when I listen to podcasts and I
      > can tell the interviewer isn't really listening and isn't asking for
      > clarification of jargon, or more depth on something really interesting
      > that
      > was put on the table. "Can you explain more about what you mean by that?"
      > I
      > really hate it when an interviewer is clearly NOT having a conversation
      > and,
      > rather, only has 10 questions that were prepared and is rushing to get
      > through those. Use your prepared questions as a guideline, or a way to
      > start
      > a conversation but DO NOT be a slave to them. That's the quickest way to a
      > boring interview that sounds stiff and stupid. (out of 600 interviews I've
      > done I've only gone into two with prepared questions for just that
      > reason).
      > PR people, by the way, will ask for your questions in advance. I always
      > answer that I don't prepare questions in advance, but will give them some
      > examples of things I'd like to talk about. Again, talk about themes, not
      > specifics. "I'd like to talk with Steve Jobs about the development of the
      > iPhone and the design process that led to that."
      >
      > Hope these help you with your questions.
      >
      > Robert
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • jonny goldstein
      One of the most important things is to really enjoy interviewing people. Be happy to be there. Your subject will sense that and loosen up. You may be nervous
      Message 2 of 14 , Sep 4, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        One of the most important things is to really enjoy interviewing
        people. Be happy to be there. Your subject will sense that and loosen
        up. You may be nervous (a la Scoble interviewing Gates) but if you are
        genuinely interested in what that person has to say and are excited
        about having the chance to find out their story, your subject will
        respond to that.

        --- In videoblogging@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Smith" <edd666666@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Robert, wow, what a great list of things to do/not do in order to
        conduct
        > a knockout interview. You really hit on some good stuff there. I
        like the
        > point of clarifying jargon with the point of view of the listener in
        mind.
        > You see that missed so many times I know we all need to hear that
        again and
        > again.
        >
        > I just added a post to the
        > http://www.conductknockoutbroadcastinterviews.com/blog/ that suggests we
        > move our dress code up a notch when doing interviews that the guest
        and/or
        > listeners will not see. I think our dress affects our performance
        in subtle
        > ways and will help us focus on the things you have suggested.
        >
        > OK, Robert, thanks for that great info, and please continue to offer
        > suggestions, comments, etc.
        >
        > Edward W. Smith.
        >
        > On 9/2/07, Robert Scoble <robertscoble@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > I've interviewed many of tech's biggest names (Gates, Schwartz,
        > > Chambers,
        > > Ballmer, etc) for my video show, ScobleShow.com.
        > >
        > > Some things I've learned:
        > >
        > > 1) Don't go for "gotcha" questions. These people all are very
        astute at
        > > answering questions (at Microsoft they prepare execs for the press by
        > > doing
        > > "rude Q&A" sessions). They'll turn your rudest question into something
        > > they
        > > want to ask. That strategy never works and usually ensures you
        won't be
        > > invited back.
        > >
        > > 2) Instead, ask at least one question they've never been asked before.
        > > With Gates I knew he'd been asked any question I could come up
        with so I
        > > turned it around: asked him what he'd ask the world's richest guy
        if he
        > > were
        > > in my position.
        > >
        > > 3) Do your homework. Know what your interviewee will probably say
        > > BEFORE he/she says it.
        > >
        > > 4) Listen. My best questions came AFTER they said something and I
        asked
        > > for more in depth. Best followup? "Why do you say that?"
        > >
        > > 5) If you hear jargon ask them to clarify. Often times this brings up
        > > some interesting stuff. For instance, if I were interviewing Marc
        > > Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and he talked about "the social
        graph"
        > > I'd
        > > ask "some of my listeners don't know what you mean by 'social
        graph', can
        > > you give us a short definition and explain what you mean by that?"
        > >
        > > 6) Have a thesis for the interview. If you interview someone
        > > interesting there are 100 ways you could take the interview. I'd
        focus it
        > > on
        > > one theme and try to get them to tell a story with your questions.
        Lead
        > > them
        > > down a path. If you're asking Gates about how he took over the
        operating
        > > system business, for instance, I'd ask him a question about his high
        > > school/college experience, then early days at Microsoft, then ask
        about
        > > the
        > > DOS purchase, etc etc.
        > >
        > > 7) Have an outline of questions to ask, particularly if you'll be
        > > nervous. With Gates I started out very nervous, but then I calmed
        down and
        > > my brain started working again. That's when you can start having a
        > > conversation and not just going off of your prepared questions.
        > >
        > > 8) Listen, listen, listen. I always look my interviewer in the
        eyes and
        > > try to give them 110% of my attention. That leads to a better
        interview.
        > > When I'm distracted or not totally focused for some reason I find
        > > interviews
        > > don't get as interesting.
        > >
        > > 9) Start out with stupider questions just to get you both going.
        That's
        > > why I ask EVERY INTERVIEW "who are you?" and "what do you do?"
        Those two
        > > questions aren't really all that important, but they both get us
        going and
        > > also give your heart a chance to calm down (if you're interviewing
        someone
        > > famous) and also get you into the listening mode. Often times
        people will
        > > say something interesting in response to the "what do you do?"
        question.
        > > John Chambers, CEO at Cisco, for instance, talked about his being a
        > > father.
        > > That opened up a part of his life that makes for great conversations.
        > >
        > > 10) Listen, listen, listen. It's amazing when I listen to podcasts
        and I
        > > can tell the interviewer isn't really listening and isn't asking for
        > > clarification of jargon, or more depth on something really interesting
        > > that
        > > was put on the table. "Can you explain more about what you mean by
        that?"
        > > I
        > > really hate it when an interviewer is clearly NOT having a
        conversation
        > > and,
        > > rather, only has 10 questions that were prepared and is rushing to get
        > > through those. Use your prepared questions as a guideline, or a way to
        > > start
        > > a conversation but DO NOT be a slave to them. That's the quickest
        way to a
        > > boring interview that sounds stiff and stupid. (out of 600
        interviews I've
        > > done I've only gone into two with prepared questions for just that
        > > reason).
        > > PR people, by the way, will ask for your questions in advance. I
        always
        > > answer that I don't prepare questions in advance, but will give
        them some
        > > examples of things I'd like to talk about. Again, talk about
        themes, not
        > > specifics. "I'd like to talk with Steve Jobs about the development
        of the
        > > iPhone and the design process that led to that."
        > >
        > > Hope these help you with your questions.
        > >
        > > Robert
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Ed Smith
        Hi Jonny, thanks for that comment, I couldn t agree with you more, and really wish more of the hosts out there would really be into their guests. I just put
        Message 3 of 14 , Sep 4, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi Jonny, thanks for that comment, I couldn't agree with you more, and
          really wish more of the hosts out there would really be "into" their
          guests. I just put a post on my blog
          http://www.conductknockoutbroadcastinterviews.com/blog/ that touches on this
          issue. I single out Ms. Paula Zahn as an example of a host who time after
          time, seems to ignore her guests, run over them, or not be interested in
          them. OK, Jonny, thanks again for your solid advice, Edward Smith.

          On 9/4/07, jonny goldstein <spamjonny@...> wrote:
          >
          > One of the most important things is to really enjoy interviewing
          > people. Be happy to be there. Your subject will sense that and loosen
          > up. You may be nervous (a la Scoble interviewing Gates) but if you are
          > genuinely interested in what that person has to say and are excited
          > about having the chance to find out their story, your subject will
          > respond to that.
          >
          > --- In videoblogging@yahoogroups.com <videoblogging%40yahoogroups.com>,
          > "Ed Smith" <edd666666@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hi Robert, wow, what a great list of things to do/not do in order to
          > conduct
          > > a knockout interview. You really hit on some good stuff there. I
          > like the
          > > point of clarifying jargon with the point of view of the listener in
          > mind.
          > > You see that missed so many times I know we all need to hear that
          > again and
          > > again.
          > >
          > > I just added a post to the
          > > http://www.conductknockoutbroadcastinterviews.com/blog/ that suggests we
          > > move our dress code up a notch when doing interviews that the guest
          > and/or
          > > listeners will not see. I think our dress affects our performance
          > in subtle
          > > ways and will help us focus on the things you have suggested.
          > >
          > > OK, Robert, thanks for that great info, and please continue to offer
          > > suggestions, comments, etc.
          > >
          > > Edward W. Smith.
          > >
          > > On 9/2/07, Robert Scoble <robertscoble@...> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > I've interviewed many of tech's biggest names (Gates, Schwartz,
          > > > Chambers,
          > > > Ballmer, etc) for my video show, ScobleShow.com.
          > > >
          > > > Some things I've learned:
          > > >
          > > > 1) Don't go for "gotcha" questions. These people all are very
          > astute at
          > > > answering questions (at Microsoft they prepare execs for the press by
          > > > doing
          > > > "rude Q&A" sessions). They'll turn your rudest question into something
          > > > they
          > > > want to ask. That strategy never works and usually ensures you
          > won't be
          > > > invited back.
          > > >
          > > > 2) Instead, ask at least one question they've never been asked before.
          > > > With Gates I knew he'd been asked any question I could come up
          > with so I
          > > > turned it around: asked him what he'd ask the world's richest guy
          > if he
          > > > were
          > > > in my position.
          > > >
          > > > 3) Do your homework. Know what your interviewee will probably say
          > > > BEFORE he/she says it.
          > > >
          > > > 4) Listen. My best questions came AFTER they said something and I
          > asked
          > > > for more in depth. Best followup? "Why do you say that?"
          > > >
          > > > 5) If you hear jargon ask them to clarify. Often times this brings up
          > > > some interesting stuff. For instance, if I were interviewing Marc
          > > > Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and he talked about "the social
          > graph"
          > > > I'd
          > > > ask "some of my listeners don't know what you mean by 'social
          > graph', can
          > > > you give us a short definition and explain what you mean by that?"
          > > >
          > > > 6) Have a thesis for the interview. If you interview someone
          > > > interesting there are 100 ways you could take the interview. I'd
          > focus it
          > > > on
          > > > one theme and try to get them to tell a story with your questions.
          > Lead
          > > > them
          > > > down a path. If you're asking Gates about how he took over the
          > operating
          > > > system business, for instance, I'd ask him a question about his high
          > > > school/college experience, then early days at Microsoft, then ask
          > about
          > > > the
          > > > DOS purchase, etc etc.
          > > >
          > > > 7) Have an outline of questions to ask, particularly if you'll be
          > > > nervous. With Gates I started out very nervous, but then I calmed
          > down and
          > > > my brain started working again. That's when you can start having a
          > > > conversation and not just going off of your prepared questions.
          > > >
          > > > 8) Listen, listen, listen. I always look my interviewer in the
          > eyes and
          > > > try to give them 110% of my attention. That leads to a better
          > interview.
          > > > When I'm distracted or not totally focused for some reason I find
          > > > interviews
          > > > don't get as interesting.
          > > >
          > > > 9) Start out with stupider questions just to get you both going.
          > That's
          > > > why I ask EVERY INTERVIEW "who are you?" and "what do you do?"
          > Those two
          > > > questions aren't really all that important, but they both get us
          > going and
          > > > also give your heart a chance to calm down (if you're interviewing
          > someone
          > > > famous) and also get you into the listening mode. Often times
          > people will
          > > > say something interesting in response to the "what do you do?"
          > question.
          > > > John Chambers, CEO at Cisco, for instance, talked about his being a
          > > > father.
          > > > That opened up a part of his life that makes for great conversations.
          > > >
          > > > 10) Listen, listen, listen. It's amazing when I listen to podcasts
          > and I
          > > > can tell the interviewer isn't really listening and isn't asking for
          > > > clarification of jargon, or more depth on something really interesting
          > > > that
          > > > was put on the table. "Can you explain more about what you mean by
          > that?"
          > > > I
          > > > really hate it when an interviewer is clearly NOT having a
          > conversation
          > > > and,
          > > > rather, only has 10 questions that were prepared and is rushing to get
          > > > through those. Use your prepared questions as a guideline, or a way to
          > > > start
          > > > a conversation but DO NOT be a slave to them. That's the quickest
          > way to a
          > > > boring interview that sounds stiff and stupid. (out of 600
          > interviews I've
          > > > done I've only gone into two with prepared questions for just that
          > > > reason).
          > > > PR people, by the way, will ask for your questions in advance. I
          > always
          > > > answer that I don't prepare questions in advance, but will give
          > them some
          > > > examples of things I'd like to talk about. Again, talk about
          > themes, not
          > > > specifics. "I'd like to talk with Steve Jobs about the development
          > of the
          > > > iPhone and the design process that led to that."
          > > >
          > > > Hope these help you with your questions.
          > > >
          > > > Robert
          > > >
          > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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