My first-ever interview is now posted over at Hulbert Lee’s blog, From Bottom Up . I hope you’ll pop over to take a listen and say “hi” in the comment section.
Meanwhile, I’ve got some tips to share from my virgin interview experience.
Getting interviewed for the first time is like doing anything else in blogging for the first time . . . fun, scary, exciting, nerve-wracking . . . pretty much your typical roller coast ride.
Luckily, a little preparation goes a long ways towards smoothing out the bumps.
Here are a few things that will help:
Before the Interview
- Know the technology. I hadn’t used Skype until this week (stop laughing!), so I posted a message on the A-List Blogger Club forum that I’d like to practice a Skype call. My blogging friends came to my rescue, and we all had a great time together while I got comfortable with Skype. If your interview requires you to step into unfamiliar technology territory, admit that you’re a newbie and get the help you need to gain confidence.
- Practice. I didn’t practice for my interview, but if you’re feeling nervous, consider listening to prior interviews by your interviewer to get a feel for questions and format. Then, enlist a friend or family member to conduct a practice interview to help you prepare.
- Stay busy. My interview was scheduled for noon, and I probably would have gotten twitchy if my morning hadn’t gone straight to heck from the first minute I stepped out of bed. Between technology glitches and household emergencies, my mind had no time to careen towards scenarios of impending interview doom. Hopefully, your interview day will be less chaotic than mine, but do plan to keep busy with work or fun until your interview time arrives.
- Go Into ‘Do Not Disturb’ Mode. I let my husband know I’d be in an interview so he wouldn’t fire up the chainsaw outside the window while I was talking. Go on the offensive to create a quiet environment for your interview by alerting family members, arranging for childcare, putting a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your front door, and turning off phone ringers.
- Get comfortable. Get a glass of water or another beverage to sip on in case your throat gets dry, and take a bathroom break whether you think you need one or not. Also make sure you’re wearing something that feels especially comfy.
- Pay attention during the prep. Most interviewers will email or call with information on how the interview will be conducted. Your mind may be jangling with nerves, but do force yourself to focus. Knowing what to expect will help you feel more at ease during the actual interview process.
During the Interview
- Focus on the familiar. Looking at a favorite picture, a candle, or a familiar scene during the interview process is relaxing. I turned my chair towards a window that overlooks the garden so I could look at flowers and fruit trees as I talked.
- Relax. If you’re nervous during the interview, intentionally slow your breathing, relax your shoulders and jaw, and stretch your fingers. All of these things help release tension in your body so you can stay present and focused.
- Be real. When the interview begins, say hello and talk to the interviewer just as you would if you were having lunch together. Don’t worry about impressing anyone or what people will think. The more you can bring your authentic self to the process, the more folks will relate to you.
After the interview
- Maximize the post-interview session. When the interview concludes, be sure to thank your interviewer. Use this time to ask when the interview will appear and offer to help promote the interview if you’re able. Ask any other questions that may be on your mind, and if it feels appropriate, express your interest in working with the interviewer again.
- Promote. When your interview is available, let your readers know about it on your blog, in your newsletter, and on your favorite social media sites. You may also want to put up a link to the interview on your sidebar so that future visitors will have an easy way to get a more personal glimpse of you.
- Continue the conversation. If your interview is posted on a blog, drop in to interact with readers and listeners who comment. An interview on a blog is essentially the same as a guest post. It’s your introduction to folks who may be seeing you for the first time, so make the most of it.
My first interview was a positive experience all around, and Hulbert Lee did a great job of making things easy and enjoyable for me. Please do come over and visit us at From Bottom Up.
Your turn: Do you get nervous at the thought of being interviewed? If you’ve been interviewed, what was it like for you?
Related Post: A Newbie’s Guide to Guest Posting