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Two Interviewing Mistakes We’ve All Made

By Adam Bush on February 28, 2018

Congratulations are in order, you’re about to interview your next (or first) story lead. This is a proud day. You’ve been handed the assignment of, “We’d like a story to play in service,” and you’re almost there. You feel like you’ve got the story structure pretty locked in, all your pre-production is set and communicated, and now you’re just waiting for the interview shoot. So, how do you go from, “I hope the interview goes well,” to, “I totally got this!”? Well, to help, here are two mistakes I’ve totally made and you can completely avoid!

1. Keep the Shoot as Uncomfortable as Possible!

What’s the ONE thing you want to come out of your interview? Vulnerability. Turns out, people are only vulnerable when they’re comfortable. Big lights, a camera, and a microphone in people’s faces doesn’t exactly communicate comfortability. In fact, it does the opposite. So, your job as the interviewer is to intentionally make your lead comfortable. Try to keep as few people on set as possible, and introduce your lead to everyone on the crew. Laugh a lot before the interview. Talk about everyone’s day and NOT about the story. Keep the conversation light leading all the way up to the interview. When you’re actually doing the interview, don’t have anyone talking BUT you. If the crew needs to adjust something, have ‘em text you. I keep my phone right beside me on airplane mode and glance down every once in a while. Finally, don’t stop shooting unless you ABSOLUTELY have to. It kills momentum, and thus, your comfortability.<>

2. Ask Very Direct Questions

I used to do this early on. Question: “So, your relationship with your father growing up wasn’t good, huh?” Answer: “No.” See how my question doesn’t open the lead up to really answering? I learned early on that my QUESTIONS are more conversation starters. “Talk to me about your relationship with your father.” This is a conversation, and I’m guiding it by raising topics and allowing them the opportunity and permission to really get into those areas of their lives. Think RAISING TOPICS instead of ASKING QUESTIONS.

I’m writing this blog in February, which means Easter is coming in hot. Hopefully you’re feeling ready for whatever story you’re sharing this Easter and these MISTAKES TO AVOID are helpful in a way that’ll make a world of difference. Remember COMFORTABILITY and CONVERSATION and you’ll win every time!

Happy Storytelling,
Adam Bush

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