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5 Things to Think about when Interviewing for Content

5 Things to Think About When Interviewing

I've recently been taking some classes where we have to interview and research consumer behavior and different work personalities. After listening to some awkward exchanges and questions around me I thought it'd be a great idea to write a post to help others prepare for interviews. My background comes from 5 years of Yearbook in high school where I had to interview uncaring faculty, to emotionless students, and your occasional subject who surprised you with the most amazing story. I'm a firm believer in the idea that everyone has a story and so with the proper questions and interaction you can get a story out of anyone.

1.Prepare 5 - 10 General Questions

These questions should not be too closely related. The point of having all these questions is to help navigate you through the interview. You will get to some points where you hit a dead end, the interviewee is not showing much interest in what they are saying. Move along the conversation with a different question and check for a story somewhere else.

2.Ask Questions based on their Response

If the interview feels like a survey, or a list of questions, you will get a list of answers. Ask things like Why Did you Choose to do that? Is that something you regret? That's interesting, why do you think you believe that?

The name of the game is to learn how the person thinks, why they react a certain way. You want emotions, reasons, stories. You won't get that with a list of answers.

3.Don't Use Email if Possible.

If you can, try to avoid any form of communication that takes longer than a couple minutes to reply. You want real time answers. Thus always try for in person or over the phone. I am also one of those people who actually don't mind using chat because most people today are so savvy with their keyboards that live chatting is almost just as fast.

The reason why you don't want to use email is because emails are put off for later, it becomes a task on a to do list. You want a stimulating story, not someone trying to finish their to do list.

4.Bring a Voice Recorder (or Phone)

If you are just starting out interviewing, this is a definite must. Nothing is more awkward than pouring your heart out with a profound story and the person interviewing you answers with 30 seconds of silence because they are trying to jot everything down.

Bring a voice recorder, note the points that impressed you during the interview. Try to jot down the time they said it to help you later.

5.Don't let the Interviewee dictate the Interview

This is probably one of the more annoying things about interviewing. You will have the subject/interviewee with a general idea about how the article should look. They'll tell stories that seem too well constructed with appropriate details and structure. The person will ask you to use that story and use a "profound statement" they just said.


Don't let this happen. If the person you are interviewing is trying to dictate the interview, smile and say I just want to learn more about them (Note: Stroke their ego). Let them know that the article, content, or story will be in tandem with an entire page, campaign, or strategy. This should actually be true, so just let them know that you will try but it'll depend on the whole scope of things.

Just remember, get the best story for your readers, not the interviewee's best story.

In Conclusion...

At the end of the day its really about practice. If you are going into an interview awkward and embarrassed, don't worry about it because we all have. The best thing to always remember though is to be ethical and honest.

If your going to the interview in hopes of getting a certain quote or skew, then really you don't need to be interviewing at all.



Why Your Social Media Isn't Working

Jason Khoo - The Secret to Social Media Success

Social Media this, Facebook that, Instagram there! Social Media is the new cool kids in town and like any cool kids, we're all tired of hearing about it. Often you hear, "It's so easy to start.", "The potential is unmatched", and my favorite, "All the successful (cool) businesses are doing it." Now don't get me wrong, Social Media is an extremely important channel of marketing, but it isn't everything. After two years of managing social media campaigns one thing has become apparent. We are all focusing on the wrong thing, or most of us. Social Media is not the answer. It's content! 

What is This Content Marketing

The world of marketing is starting to jump on this buzzword and if you haven't jumped on, you should. Content Marketing is the general concept of marketing centered on the idea that you publish information and value to consumers.

Example: Nike

Nike does this exceptionally. (Quick Fun Fact: For the last 10 years I have ONLY purchased Nike shoes ---- Talk about being a lifetime customer!) 

Anyways back on point, Nike conducts marketing based on hiring superstar athletes to made beautiful ads and commercials. Beyond that though, Nike publishes great content. On YouTube they hire their athletes to create videos on how to play better basketball, how to run faster, what to wear to optimize your play. Nike takes it upon themselves to educate and immerse the customer in the sporting world. They hold marathons, create communities of runners, and even support Nike Fanboys who collect shoes. (I'm not one of them I promise!!! I actually buy shoes for walking and sports.)

Jason Khoo: Content Marketing - Nike

So the reason why I am bringing up Nike is because it is relevant and a great example. Social Media, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, and other channels are USELESS if you don't have anything to say. If all you can talk about is your specials and that your store is on the corner of this avenue and that street, nobody cares. Be a dinner guest or a date that has class, a story to tell.

Have To Conduct Content Marketing

I've tried doing marketing for companies that would NOT commit to content and let me tell you, it gets pretty difficult. You have nothing to talk about, no one wants to listen, and its pretty much Social Media silence. It's just as awkward and frustrating as having nothing to talk about with your date.  To truly market and engage your customers you need to add value to their life.

If you are saying to yourself, "What do I even talk about?" Think back to those childhood cartoons and remember, everyone has a story, everyone has something to say. If your client or business sells stuffed animals talk about how to properly take care of them or create stories for each model. If your client likes to paint, talk about the creative process, the story of the artist, or even talk about the power of colors.

Have Something to Say

Everyone has something to say, it's up to you as the marketer or business owner to look inside and find your story.

To end this talk about Content Marketing, I want to say, "Stop talking if you have nothing to say." Stop the constant Social Media Marketing if you don't have anything to talk about, PLEASE!