It may seem like a simple question, but it can actually turn into a very important one. One that I have experienced firsthand is when an interviewee says something like, “I’d like to hear more about your work.” I’ve interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life, and the vast majority of them never even think about what they’re talking about until we’ve asked the question.
It turns out that our interview questions are actually the first things we think about when we sit down on a phone or video call and try to figure out what we need to ask. We look at these first few sentences and are like, We have to ask this person! The first question we think about is the most important, because it allows us to put ourselves in the shoes of the person were talking to.
These questions are really just a way of getting the conversation going. We have to ask something that will get the person talking, otherwise they will be on their phone forever. So we think about what we want to ask. So we start asking questions. And then we get frustrated. We’ve already asked enough things, and we’re not asking the right questions. We’re just asking questions, and the answer is already in our head.
We are so often told that digital interviewing is bad. I think this is a big misconception. Digital interviewing is probably the most effective way to get someone to talk to you. We spend a lot of time talking to people in person, and the only way we can do that is by putting ourselves in their shoes. It really helps us get to know each other, and it’s a great way to get to know what we have in common, or what we have in common interests.
Many people find digital interviewing intimidating, but it’s not that much more so than talking to a real person. The best part is that many social media platforms offer different forms of digital interviewing. I would highly recommend doing an interview on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Instagram Live, and YouTube. There are hundreds of different platforms out there, and you can find them all listed in the sidebar of our website.
You can also do an in-person interview on the spot, but don’t say anything about the topic you want to talk about. To get the best results, I always say an informal interview is best. People who are confident and excited to talk will naturally start to ask questions and you can help them out with that.
You can also record an interview on video, but only if you are at least 18 years old and are a U.S. citizen or legal resident. That is because if you are under 17 without having any legal adult supervision, you are subject to criminal prosecution for disturbing the peace.
So you can either be in a room with a bunch of people (or a conference room) who are all speaking at the same time, or you can record yourself speaking. For the record, I’m not a huge fan of video recording myself. It’s best to have people around in person, so that you can check in on your interviewee and check that they’re paying attention and speaking clearly.
If you have a video camera or DSLR set up in the interview room, you can actually record yourself being interviewed. It just means your interviewee has to have a little more time to prepare themselves, and for those who are under 17 without legal adults supervising them, they can be charged with disturbing the peace. As a result, you are subject to criminal prosecution if you are recorded doing anything illegal.
It’s not illegal to record yourself on your own video camera, but you can actually get yourself in legal trouble for doing it on someone else’s camera. The penalties for doing so are relatively minor: You can be charged with disturbing the peace and fined $500. If you are caught doing it on someone else’s camera you can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined $500 or $2500 for each person you were recorded with.