If you’re lucky enough to land a face-to-face interview with a big influencer in your niche, then this is a great opportunity to work alongside them while getting some high quality content for your website.
What’s more, it’s likely to be shared openly and to get lots of likes simply by being associated with this popular figure!
But you may well find that this is a rather nerve-wracking experience too – after all, you’re probably a bit star-struck yourself! Plus, it’s a rather big responsibility and you’re undoubtedly going to be compared to everyone else who has ever interviewed him or her.
So how do you go about making sure that they feel comfortable as you interview them? And how do you get the best out of them and stay professional? Here are some pointers that can help.
The first, and by far most important, tip is also the most difficult – relax! If you’re in an interview and you look incredibly nervous, then you’ll make your interviewee feel nervous, too. The secret to relaxing and combating your fight or flight response is to breathe slowly and to not try to ‘fight’ the anxiety. Use that energy to get psyched up for this important occasion.
You might even want to tell them that you are star-struck and therefore a little nervous. Tell them you’ve always admired them, but are going to try to talk to them like a normal person, with just a touch of fan-boy (or fan-girl). Just try to feel comfortable in your own skin and this will instantly put them at ease!
Location, Location, Location
This may be out of your control, but if you do have the ability to decide where the interview will be conducted, make sure it’s somewhere that’s comfortable for the interviewee. You’ll notice that most interviewers on TV use a couch. This is inherently comfortable and that’s no coincidence obviously!
Other ideas might be to hold your interview in the corner of a quiet coffee or sandwich shop, or even outside. Making sure your interviewee has at least a glass of water is also important.
Listen and Respond
Many interviewers will have an idea of where they want the conversation to go and when it doesn’t move there naturally, they’ll try and hijack the conversation and wrestle it back on course. This is essentially the worst thing you can do and will only serve to make the interviewee feel uncomfortable and as though they’re being ignored. Listen to them and just respond naturally – like it’s a normal conversation!
If you want to get all NLP on your subject, then you can try and build a sense of rapport by mirroring their body language in subtle ways. This may work, but it’s actually more likely to just freak them out. In general, it is probably better to just to be yourself!