Over the years, I have conducted dozens of media interviews with tech entrepreneurs, thought leaders and yes … musicians. I’ve had success but also made many mistakes. Here are my takeaways:
1. Be on time
If disaster strikes, be proactive and politely tell the interviewee you will be late and offer to reschedule.
2. Do your research
Do not come to an interview unprepared. Get as much information as possible, this will save you time and make the exchange smoother.
3. Stick to a process you are comfortable with
Personally, when it comes to written mediums, I get better results with an informal interview, agreeing to questions and their sequence… then letting the other party send me back answers. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
4. Learn how to work with intermediaries
When you interview C-level executives or anyone who is known in the public sphere, chances are you will interact with publicists, PR managers or marketing folks. Do not dismiss these individuals: some will go out of their way to motivate the interviewee and get things done.
5. Read the style guide
Most content operations have a style guide, sometimes such includes specific instructions on how to edit interview transcripts.
6. When things move slow: persevere
Do not get discouraged if things move slow: people travel, have deadlines to meet and personal obligations. Some of my most memorable interviews took 4 to 5 months to complete! It’s always a good idea to follow up with the other party and get a sense of the situation.
7. Follow up post-interview
It’s often a a good idea to follow up with the interviewee after the content has been published. This can lead to further feedback, interview leads or even collaboration opportunities (especially if you’ve built decent rapport).