There are many factors that affect the outcome of an interview attempt. If you try to get someone to respond to an interview, then your success will be determined by whom that person is, when they receive your message and a myriad of other factors.
One of the key factors is the way you write the questions themselves. Even if someone is willing in theory to answer your questions, using the wrong phrasing or picking the wrong things can often end up putting them off.
Let’s look at how to choose and phrase your questions correctly so that you avoid this common pitfall.
Do Your Research
One of the most off putting things for an influencer about to answer some questions is to see that you clearly haven’t done any research. Asking a dentist how they first became interested in being a doctor is a very quick way to offend them as it shows you didn’t take even five minutes to look at their Twitter. Do your research!
Likewise, you should always be polite and you should never be presumptuous. Don’t assume they’re going to answer your questions and always be grateful that they’ve even gotten as far as reading or listening to your message. This will stand you in good stead for well thought out answers in a timely manner!
Keep it Brief
Of course it doesn’t have to be super brief but it’s a mistake to send 1,000 questions. Try to aim for closer to 4-5 if you’re cold messaging a person, as that way they can work through the questionnaire quickly.
Don’t Use Leading Questions or Self Promotion
Often an interview is a means to an end. Often that end is you trying to promote yourself. This is fine and it’s expected, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to make this obvious by mentioning your brand at every opportunity. Likewise, don’t try to steer their answers. Keep it about them and don’t be manipulative.
Finally, you should always add an opportunity at the end of every interview for your interviewee to speak freely. Ask if they have anything they’d like to add, or if they have any upcoming projects. This way, they get to plug whatever it is that they have coming up. In turn that means they’re getting marketing benefit out of the interaction as well as you. This gives them good incentive to answer!