How To Pair The Right Interview Questions With The Right Subject

Conducting interviews for a video sounds easy enough until you actually have to do it. In this edition of "After The Shoot" Jeff explains his approach to making sure the right questions are paired with the right subject.

Video Transcript

We are a video at Hammer Homes, which is a nonprofit that we love and do a lot of work for. After doing six interviews, I thought it would be useful to talk a little bit about my approach for pairing interview subjects with interview questions.

When we set out to do a video, we try to broadly define three general messages. And when it's done right, those messages tell a story or have a nice arc to them. For each message, we try to find the best person to have a discussion with. Often interviewers will use one long list of questions and ask everyone the same thing.

What I have found to be useful is to cast people for specific messages. One of the things in this video we're focusing on is Hammer's importance in the world. For those questions, we targeted people who had been in the organization for a long time and were intimately aware with the organizations vision and mission. Towards the end, we got into more specifics so we saved those questions for people who were more operational and day to day.

It's really important when you put together a video that revolves around interviews to make sure there is a good marriage between the kind of questions you're asking and the person you're asking them to. Don't just take a blanket approach where you throw the same questions at everyone. Make sure the questions that you're going to ask of that person fit them and give them an opportunity to bring a unique perspective that they have about it that maybe some other people wouldn't.

Hopefully that was useful. We're going to try to do this on a regular basis. So we'll see how it goes. Thanks a lot.

Quick Tips

Brainstorm a list of interview questions.
Arrange those questions in buckets by messages.
Generate a list of potential interview subjects
Cross check your list of interview subjects with your intended messages and then find the best pairing!


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