Jimmy Fallon, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres are individuals of high status in the media and society. They are known to conduct and produce high quality interviews. What makes their techniques stand out?
A few of the techniques notorious interviewers utilize include the following:
1. Do the research. Look up the interviewee well before interview is scheduled. This will help formulate questions and get an overall feel of the candidate.
2. Have questions ready. Preparation is the prerequisite to a compelling interview. Ensure the questions are a mix of the six question types.
3. Speak the language of the interviewee. The rhetoric used when interviewing a family should be different than a politician. Be educated on the topics that will be discussed to ensure correctness.
4. Understand verbal and non-verbal cues. In an interview one should dance between various communication methods. Be cognizant of hand, eye and body movement.
5. Do not talking about yourself. Discussing personal opinions at length is unprofessional, distracting and selfish. Unless the interviewee directly asks for your thoughts.
6. Do not be afraid to let your personality shine. A quality interviewer will be authentic with the interviewee and audience. This will foster a connection which paves the way for genuine conversation.
The elements above outline small ways to advance interviewing skills. Another important way to improve interviewing abilities is to observe another individual’s interview. Today I analyzed an interview between Anderson Cooper and Soren Gordhamer.
One notable strength seen throughout the interview was Anderson Cooper’s comfortability. Within the first few minutes he was cracking jokes and sitting in a relaxed position. His responses to the first couple questions seemed causal, thus building a connection with the audience.
One significant weakness was the interviewer, Soren Gordhamer applied a substantial number of verbal fillers. He persistently applied “umm” during his dialogue with Anderson Cooper. Although Gordhamer was likely nervous, it was distracting and took away from the interview.