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How To Be A Better Interviewer (or Interviewee)

Episode 195
Stephanie and Ian also talk about what you should do to be a better interviewee and why it takes at least 20 minutes to develop a rapport with someone.

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We consulted with Mission’s resident interviewing expert, Ian Faison (Twitter: @ianfaison), to figure out what makes a great interviewer. Stephanie (Twitter: @stephpostles) and Ian also talk about how to be a better interviewee and why it takes at least 20 minutes to develop a rapport with someone.

[2:00] How To Be A Good Interviewer

  • Ian has three rules for how to be a good interviewer.
  • But before we dive in, watch Chili.

[2:30] Rule 1: Be Prepared

  • “Much like in negotiation, the advantage goes to the most prepared.” -Ian Click to Tweet
  • Do research. Find nuggets about things, places, times, or events, that bring people out of their shell.
  • “You gotta get your creep on and do your research.” -Ian Click to Tweet

[3:55] Rule 2: Have An Idea Of What Story You Want To Tell

  • Mentioned: Lessons from Amazon: ‘Mock Press Release’ Discipline to Sell an Idea
  • In a sense, you want to write the headline before you do the interview. This helps you formulate an overarching theme that you pull from throughout the interview.
  • But you can’t let this theme dictate all of the questions you ask:
    • “Most of the time, you don’t ask 80% of the questions you have prepped.” -Ian
    • “The worst interviews I’ve heard are when people are sticking to specific questions even though the guest is going one way.” -Stephanie

[6:55] Rule 3: Be Funny (Or Familiar)

  • The best thing you can do is be funny. But that’s really hard, so if you can’t be funny, then try to be familiar.
  • “The first 20 minutes will suck, every time.” -Ian
  • Mentioned: Bill Simmons and Al Pacino Interview
  • Start with something they are very familiar with to get them comfortable.
  • Mentioned: The Ultimate Pregame by Advanced Selling Podcast
  • Embarrassing side note: Steph doesn’t know who Green Day is…
  • “The small talk part is really important.” -Stephanie
  • People struggle to talk about themselves.

[10:15] How To Be A Good Interviewee

  • Good ask from an interviewer: What type of stuff would you like to promote? What’s the purpose of this for you?
  • Exciting side note: The Journey Podcast – coming soon!
  • Ian’s tip for job interviews: Prep 2 or 3 vignettes that relate to the company and yourself. No matter what questions are asked in the interview, figure out a way to tell these few stories.
  • Always research, research, research the company before the interview.

Want to hear more of Ian? Check out: Marketing Trends, IT Visionaries, and Future of Cities.


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