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  • Writer's pictureJamal Lawson

Master the Art of Interviewing

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

Effective interviewing is a skill that goes beyond just asking questions. It involves the ability to ask powerful questions that extract valuable information and insights from your subject. Whether you are filming journalist interviews, testimonials, or video bios for your executives/employees, knowing how to frame questions can make a significant difference in the quality of the responses you receive. In this article, we will explore the art of asking powerful questions for filming interviews.


1. Research Your Subject


Powerful interviewers know their subjects before the interview. Well-researched questions ultimately shows the interviewee that you care and will provide deeper and more energetic answers. Look for articles, podcasts, other interviews, or their social media pages about your subject to craft your questions.


2. Start with Open-Ended Questions


Open-ended questions are the foundation of a good interview. These questions encourage candidates to provide detailed, thoughtful responses rather than simple "yes" or "no" answers. Instead of asking a musician, "Do you have experience in playing festivals?" you can ask, "Can you describe your experience in playing festivals and share specific examples of your most memorable experiences during your favorite festival you've played?" This invites subjects to share more about their specific experiences.


3. Probe for Emotion with Specific Topics


When crafting questions, specific topics that can prompt your subject deeper emotional experiences. These lead to richer, more informative answers. For instance, ask, "How did you break generational curses in your family?" rather than "Were you the first in your family to be a photographer?" This shift in focus can lead to more deeper connections between yourself and the interviewee.


4. Incorporate Situational and Hypothetical Questions


Situational and hypothetical questions ask subjects how they would handle specific scenarios. These questions are can be engaging as thought-experiments and provide for an interesting insight about your subject's thought process. For example, you could ask, "What would you do with your day if you didn't have access to the internet?"


Asking powerful questions is an essential skill for conducting strong interviews on video. Mastering interviewing by asking powerful questions will help your subjects to open up more and feel impressed that you took the time to do your research about them. Engaging questions lead to better performing videos as the interviewees will have deeper responses.


This article was co-written using AI with a narrative spin, major improvements, and proofreading by Jamal Eugene Lawson.


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