When forming your interview questions there are numerous best practices to keep in mind. These will not only encourage your interviewees to actually answer your questions, but will also help you to get more interesting results from them. More people will want to read your interview, and that will help you market your blog or website as a result.
Here are some tips for correctly phrasing your interviews.
Use Open-Ended Questions
The most important thing to keep in mind when forming your interview questions is that they should be open. That means they should have the opportunity for elaboration, and for building on the response with follow up questions. You also want to avoid leading questions.
An example of a leading question is ‘You like dogs, don’t you?’. This is just barely a question as it implies you already know the answer. A slightly better alternative is ‘Do you like dogs?’ which is still problematic because it isn’t open ended. It pretty much requires only a yes or no answer.
Instead then, try ‘What’s your favorite animal and why?’.
This way, you can get them to elaborate on their response rather than simply saying yes or no. This way you will get a lot more information about them and a lot more content for your blog. Plus, their answers will likely lead you to more questions you can ask, allowing for a more in-depth interview. Simply by switching your phrasing this way, you can come up with something far more interesting.
Ask Things You Can’t Find Out Yourself
Another great tip is to always avoid asking anything that you could find the answer to yourself. The whole point of any blog post or article is to provide value, and that means offering something new. If anyone can get the same information in your interview from Google, then what’s the point of your interview? Why would anyone read it at all?
Make sure that you are always asking fresh, new questions, rather than just recycling the same old information.
If you are conducting an interview by e-mail, then it may not be possible to interact much with the interviewee. In other scenarios though, you’ll be able to respond to their questions by asking them to elaborate or build on them. This is a mark of a good interviewer – seeing when there is more story or information to be gleaned from an initial question and response.
A great interview should really feel like a conversation and a back-and-forth. This way you can make sure you’re keeping the attention firmly on the person you’re interviewing!