Want To Interview Someone? Polish the Questions and Make Them Interesting

By Daniel Scocco

Quick tip for this Saturday.

Many people send me interview requests every month. Usually I agree to answer them, but I confess that sometimes I won’t spend too much time on the task. When? When I notice that the interviewer himself wrote the questions in 30 seconds, and didn’t even care to proofread them or to make them interesting. Sometimes I can’t even understand the question!

This is a real turn-off.

Today another interview request hit my email inbox, but the questions are very elaborate, and they don’t contain one spelling mistake. You can see that the blogger spent time on this, and is hoping to produce something of value to his readers.

As a result, I will spend a good amount of time answering the questions, to make sure that my answers will have the same quality as the questions.

If you want to interview someone, therefore, work on the questions! Make them interesting, polish the writing, proofread and so on.

Update: The interview that I was talked about has been publish. You can check it out on IncomeDiary.com.




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30 Responses to “Want To Interview Someone? Polish the Questions and Make Them Interesting”

  • PV Reymond

    Hi Daniel,

    I think you touched a very important point.

    Some people want to achieve certain things doing almost nothing. When you approach someone for an interview you have to make sure that your questions are good and interesting.

    Also, you have to know the person you want to interview. I mean, how he writes, how he thinks, etc. It makes everything easier.

    Thanks,
    ^PV Reymond

  • Brian D. Hawkins

    That’s a great point Daniel. Another turnoff is when it’s obvious they never read your posts or visit the site. Asking questions that are answered on the front page for example.

    I was sent the exact same questions to two of my sites not long ago. They must not have realized I was the same person. Then I Googled the questions and realized they had stolen every interview question from a popular site word for word. I’m very glad I caught that before I participated.

    • Diana

      Wow Brian, that’s awful. I’m a big fan of stealing other people’s brilliance and making it my own, but not as literally as that. That’s just…well, just plain lame and lazy. People who do that have goals that are purely selfish and they have absolutely no interest in creating anything of value for anybody else. Thanks for sharing!

  • Melvin

    great! now w/this tip Daniel, prepare yourself to be interviewed by me soon! ahaha!

  • Daniele

    I agree, Daniel.

    I made interviews with some authors (from UK, Italy and USA) and I spent some hours to make good questions.

    Sometimes I read other interviews, to avoid to ask same things!

  • Arun Basil Lal

    Daniel,

    Are we supposed to contact the authors with the questions prepared or should we ask for permission before hand?

    In other words, is it better to email them the questions right away or ask them for permission first and then mail them the questions? Which is more acceptable in your opinion?

    Thanks,

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Arun, in my opinion it is better to send the questions straight away. People are very busy these days, and if you can reduce the amount of email they will need to reply to they will appreciate.

    • Diana

      Great question, Arun, and great answer Daniel! I’ve been floundering a little as far as how to go about asking for interviews, so this was a BIG help. Prepare to be interviewed, Daniel!

  • Tom – StandOutBlogger.com

    Great tips daniel! I am looking at targeting a few bloggers with questions shortly and this has been very helpful!

  • Tech @ InkAPoint

    That’s really cool Dani..

  • TechZoomIn

    That’s simple and great tip to consider before interviewing

  • stop sweating

    ItÒ€ℒs a great point daniel! interesting interview questions could make the conversation more relax and real.

  • sandy

    I’ve published on my blog some interesting tips, click my name to view them.

  • InternetHowBlog

    Quick tips is taken for saturday. I am preparing my questions and sending them to you πŸ™‚

  • Arun Basil Lal

    Thanks Daniel for the reply,

    I had that question in my mind since the first time I contacted anyone for an interview, its only now I found the perfect person to ask!

  • mmSeason

    Really useful, since interviews are something i’ve thought of but not started on. Especially the tip about sending the questions up-front. Thanx!

  • Pasaway

    Just right. I think if I were you, I’ll also do the same. Great info btw.

  • Boerne Search

    Great information. I have tried interviews before, but now I have a better idea of what is important and what isn’t. I know someone with a lot of useful information isn’t going to want to be bothered with boring questions.

  • NFL Trade Rumors

    Great tips! I am just getting ready to interview someone for the first time on my new Blog. Hopefully everything goes well and I will use some of your tips.

  • scarface

    someday many blogger want to interview me πŸ˜€

  • Matt | Small Biz Bee

    Interviewing someone is so much harder than it sounds. Your advice is spot on, focus on questions that make the interviewee look good and highlight their skills and accomplishments, and really take time to tailor questions to the person you are interviewing. Not only will you get more interviews, but you’ll have more interesting content for your readers.

    Matt

  • iGoMogul

    Excellent point, and one that bears repeating. We’ve been conducting interviews with iGoMogul staff members for our blog, and even though they are people we already know and talk with every day, we still believe it’s important to be professional and come up with engaging questions that will provide genuine insights for our readers. Those we have interviewed were pleasantly surprised by this approach and quite appreciative of it.

  • SEO Tips

    Interesting tips Daniel, and overall a nice article.

    Definitely something I will use in the future when writing interview questions for people.

    Thanks πŸ˜‰

  • Esha

    Hi;

    As an assignment, I am supposed to interview employees or managers with 10 years of IT industry experience.

    What should be my approach and what set of questions should I ask them?

    My interview shall be based on:

    Their initial struggle as a fresher till they reached this position.
    Their introduction and position in their the firm
    their acheivements and challenges
    etc..

    Basically I am having this assignment for a small research about the manager’s capabilities and their skills for more productivity and healthy relationship among their peer’s which shall help other upcoming managers to frames set of rules for do’s n dont’s .

    Can anybody help me prepare a set of questions to find out the results in the form of survey

  • Karthik

    Hi Daniel,

    the point you raised is really intresting and necessary πŸ™‚

  • Medyum

    I was sent the exact same questions to two of my sites not long ago. They must not have realized I was the same person. Then I Googled the questions and realized they had stolen every interview question from a popular site word for word. IÒ€ℒm very glad I caught that before I participated.

  • Franck Silvestre

    Thank you for the advice. I use the interview model to create ebooks and I make sure that the experts will enjoy replying to the questions before I send them.

    Franck

  • Jeff Sabo

    Daniel,

    This touches on some very key points. If something looks like it was slapped together and rushed, it probably was. In this case, it can be obvious if the questions have spelling errors in them, are not easy to understand, show no creativity or show lack of research. It doesn’t take long to write out good interview questions especially with the right research.

    Jeff

  • Laura Maxton

    Don’t spend a whole lot of time warming the person up. Most interview veterans don’t want to chit-chat about the weather, or hear what a big fan you are. Remember, you only have 15 minutes or so. Thanks that person for the time, and then get started.

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