How to Prepare for a Skype Interview With an Expert
Have you ever wanted to know how the best marketers prepare for expert interviews on Skype?
If you’re building an online audience or want to start a Youtube channel, one of the most engaging pieces of content you can create is an expert Skype interview.
A good Skype interview is the perfect mix between valuable information and expert credibility. If you can find the right guest, it can help extend your online reach and rapidly build your authority. Because you are putting your name alongside an already respected figure in your industry.
Finding a guest for your show can be tough though – they need to be the right fit for your brand and audience. Your customers need to respect their opinion and relate to their story, and ideally their online profile will BOOST yours significantly simply by association.
Plus, you need to find a way to get in touch with them without seeming pushy or out of line. (This post on using the Blogger Outreach Template may help when you want to reach out)
Even if you land an expert guest, there’s a lot to consider and prepare for when you’re interviewing them. You want to nail it, so that they pass your information onto other experts and help promote the interview once it’s live. That’s why we produced a template for how to prepare for a Skype interview with an expert. The Skype Interview Template is a 14 step checklist to make sure your Skype interviews run smoothly every time.
This template has been downloaded tens of thousands of times as a part of our 33 Web Marketing Templates – but if you don’t have a copy you can download it below.
The rest of this article will take you through step-by-step on how to use the template.
Preparing Your Guest
When you’ve decided who your guest will be, you need to prepare them for the interview, and it helps to give them an idea of what your show is about if they haven’t heard or seen it already.
Send them across a few of your best interviews with other experts so they can see how it will go, and calm their nerves by giving them a list of the questions that you’ll ask during the interview. This way they have the opportunity to think about what they’re interested in talking about. Make sure it’s a topic they’re comfortable discussing – if there are any off-limits questions, you’ll want to know those too.
Tools for Your Skype Interview
Before we get into the content itself, let’s think about the tools you’ll need for your Skype interview, if you don’t already have those lined up.
Skype is a free platform to use, and has text, video and voice capabilities. Many people use Skype for messaging and making video calls, but you can also record these video sessions and publish them later on.
To record the video sessions, you’ll need to purchase a tool to do so, as Skype doesn’t currently have the capability to record your sessions. There are a number of third party applications out there, which you can review here. Both the Skype Call Recorder for Mac and Pamela recording applications are solid, and run for around $30.
Once you’ve recorded your expert interview you will need editing tools for the videos, and both iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are free and relatively easy to navigate and use.
And then when the video is edited and ready for publication, you’ll want storage space to save the video online so that you can easily share it with the expert before publication. An application like Dropbox is great for this.
Before the Interview
So you’ve scheduled the interview and the big day is coming up. Before you hop on that Skype call, it’s a good idea to take some time and test all of your equipment, to make sure any technical issues are kept to a minimum during the interview.
Take the time to test your audio by testing whichever microphone or headset you’ll be using for the interview and be sure that it works properly.
Test your video as well, and be sure to position yourself in the same location that you’ll be during the interview. Make sure the lighting doesn’t come across the screen as harsh or flickering, and be sure to wear clothing that is camera friendly. Stripes, for instance, will make you appear blurry.
I would recommend asking a friend or colleague to jump on a Skype call with you to run this short series of tests and make sure everything is working.
Right before the interview, have your questions ready to go and get any kind of “props” ready (like your interview subject’s book or website). Turn off your phone or other distractions, and let everyone know that you’ll be unavailable.
During the Interview
Now you’ve got your guest and it’s the day of the interview.
Before you jump into the questions and get the camera rolling, chat with your guest and make sure they’re comfortable and ready to go. Hopefully you’ve built a bit of rapport before the interview, so that the conversation flows easily. Get them to settle into their chair, and give them a rundown of how the interview will go (although you should do some of this before the interview, to help them prepare).
Hit record, and get the interview going – start with an introduction of your guest. Make sure they’re okay with how you introduce them and that you’re promoting their most relevant project at that very moment.
Here’s a great example of an interview that Corbett Barr from Fizzle.co did with Danny Iny of Mirasee (Formerly Firepole Marketing). You’ll see that the conversation flows nicely, and there is some really helpful information delivered throughout the interview.
- Be sure you’re not constantly making noises on your end – “uh-huh” and “hmm” should be kept to a minimum! Nodding your head while they speak is helpful, so they know you’re listening.
- Be prepared for the conversation to wander a bit – you can always stay on track with the questions at hand, but it can be more authentic sometimes to get a bit off-topic and joke around a bit. Keep things light, so that everyone is enjoying the conversation.
- When you’re finished with the questions, conclude the interview by promoting your guest again and directing people to their website/book/blog. Thank them and stop the recording.
After the Interview
Save a copy of the raw video recording to your Dropbox folder, ready for editing.
You can edit the video in iMovie or Windows Movie Maker fairly easily, but if you’re not confident with these tools you may choose to hire someone from a marketplace like Fiverr to help out.
Once it’s edited, be sure to send a copy of the video to your guest, and let them know when you officially publish it. They’ll want to share the video to their audience as well!
A Few More Tips
Interviews with other people in your industry and influencers in your business “sphere” can help to build your own reputation and audience. A well constructed interview can benefit everyone involved.
Some final takeaways:
- Interviews should be thorough, but not extensive. Keep interviews to about 20 minutes long so that you’re keeping the interest of the audience and focusing on the topic at hand.
- Preparation is key – ensuring that your questions are ready, that your guest is comfortable and prepped to talk, and that you’ll have no disturbances will help guarantee a great interview.
- Keep editing to a minimum. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but any obvious lulls in conversation or technical issues should be removed.
What other tips have you found helpful for doing expert Skype interviews?
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