Interviewing may seem daunting at first, but with some practice, you can become a pro in no time. Our good friend Brian Shactman of WTIC Radio in Connecticut offers some helpful tips on having a seamless and effective interview, whether you’re a newbie or a pro.
With experience in both television and radio, Brian’s gotten to know the ins and outs of good interview etiquette as a host and as a guest. Thinkubator Media Founder and CEO Lori Lennon got a chance to sit down with Brian to get expert advice on what truly makes for a successful, high-quality interview.
Know Your Stuff
This may be the part of the interview that most people tend to focus on a little too much. It is possible to overload your brain with talking points so much that it can derail your entire thought process when you simply forget a line. Although it is crucial to know what you’re talking about for a fruitful and effective interview, finding the right balance between knowing your stuff and overpreparing can take some time and practice.
Try to leave some breathing room so that you can prioritize having a genuine conversation rather than giving a flawless dissertation on complex topics. Your nerves can affect your performance, which is why it can be helpful to practice some mock interviews beforehand.
The complexities of STEM present unique challenges to scientists seeking to passionately convey cutting-edge research. Getting a natural feel for the flow of your interview by practicing beforehand can make it easier to deliver an accurate and relatable message. As you become more comfortable with presenting your findings, you will develop your own style of communication to reach and inspire your audience.
Know Your Host
Knowing your host can make it easier to have an engaging conversation that keeps everyone interested. The beauty of a good interview is in the authenticity of conversation between the host and interviewee. Although it’s ideal for the host to learn a little about you and your mission before you go live, it can also be helpful for you to do a little research of your own.
There’s also nothing wrong with some good old witty banter to lighten the mood and ease the nerves that often accompany interviews.
Be Prepared to Go Off Topic
Practicing your interview beforehand can help you naturally anticipate the possibility of going off-topic without being too self-conscious about remembering important points. Knowing your host and your discussion topic well makes it easier to bounce around talking points rather than maintaining so much rigidity.
Be Prepared for Follow-Up
Knowing how to follow up with relevant information continues to support the natural back-and-forth of a conversation. It can be challenging to boil the complexities of science and hours-long studies into simple snippets for the average person to understand.
Aim for your content to be informative and relatable. This may not be as hard as you think when you express your findings with your own unique passion and flair. Approach the interview trusting in your own expertise and unique qualities as a person.
The most crucial part of having an authentic and memorable interview is that you have fun with it! The host and the audience can tell if you’re feeling sure of yourself or if you’re riddled with nervousness before your interview.
Some of the best gifts you can give your audience are new information, something funny or insightful. When you’re able to be and express yourself fully, you not only represent your brand well, but you are able to truly connect with your audience, leaving a lasting impression.
Watch our full Interview with Brian below!