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How To Be a Good Interviewee

Updated: Jun 16, 2019

Being a good interviewee is important because we all learn from each other.

This article has excellent tips for being interviewed online.  Tweet This

Interviews used to just happen on network television, radio or on local affiliate stations. 

But now, webinars, podcasts, conference calls, blogs and three-way phone calls are all being used to get expert opinions distributed to various audiences.

My first career was in the music business, so I had a lot of practice being interviewed on radio and on television.

As an international author and speaker, I’m still being interviewed, but these days, I’m interviewing folks for my:

I do my interviews on the Zoom platform.

These video calls are recorded in two formats: audio and video.  The audio files become podcast sessions and the video files are posted to YouTube and sometimes Vimeo.

My team and I optimize the videos for search and tag the participants when sharing the links.

That way, interviewees are aware that our session is online and they can share it with their followers.  This allows everyone to maximize clicks, downloads, views and engagement.

Here’s what to expect on my interviews

Sometimes people recommend interviewees to me.

I often find interviewees at speaking engagements and other events.

If I think someone would be interesting to my audience, I ask them for an interview.

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some fascinating people including:

  • Brandon Voss, COO for Chris Voss, the author of Never Split the Difference

  • Blind motivational speaker, David DeNotaris

  • Larry Winget, author of People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It

  • Customer service expert, Lisa Ford

  • Former prisoner-of-war, Captain Charlie Plumb

  • And many more

I treat guests very well

I prepare in advance and try to ask incisive questions that are informative, but not the same as those asked in your other interviews.

If you’re a potential interviewee for me, here’s what you need to know about our process:

  • You’ll receive a calendar invitation and/or a Zoom link

  • Test your webcam and microphone in advance of our session

  • Be on the call early, so you can adjust your lighting or camera as needed

  • The entire process takes about 30 minutes

  • We'll converse in two-minute sound bytes for the most part

Let’s make time to promote one of your products or your website, but probably not a particular event as we don't want to “date” the content.

Easy, peasy

Afterward, someone on my team will prepare an audio file for the podcast and a video file for my YouTube channel.

You’ll be notified when the content is available online, usually within 48 hours.  Share the interview, if you want more people to see or hear it.

Tips for being a good interviewee

Remember that viewers will be making decisions about you based on how you look and sound on the interview.

When doing video, generally more lighting is better.  Make sure the strongest light is in front of you.  Back lighting provides depth-of-field and delivers a “halo effect” around your shoulders and head.

Make sure the background of your frame is appropriate. If you’re smart (or want to be perceived as smart), display books in the background.  If it’s important that people know you are credentialed, have plaques and certification visible. 

If you want people to know that you’re disorganized, make sure we can see your sloppy credenza.

Here are more best practices for interviewing online:

  • Limit all background noise

  • Turn off heat or A/C, phones and alarms, close windows, close doors

  • Use good gear

  • In general, the newer the computer, the better the webcam and microphone

  • Keep the interview lively by not speaking for more than two minutes at a time

  • Speak in sound bytes

The best advice is to just be yourself. If you’re not a funny person, don’t try to be. You wouldn’t try to juggle during an interview if you can’t juggle, would you?  😉

We’ll get plenty of listens and views over time, but we’ll get more if you share my posts and put the links in your social media rotation.

Thanks for helping keep the bar high with all your interviews.

If you’re interested in doing a session with me, contact me here

Tell me why your message will be interesting to my audience and we’ll give it a go!


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