Interview Like a Pro


While interviewing or being interviewed is considered a nerve-wrecking process for many, it doesn’t have to be, if you just take the time to get prepared, beforehand (Mencher, 2011). A little bit of research and preparation can mean the difference between a successful interview or an epic failure.

With that said, here are a few tips and techniques that can make the novice questioner seem like a veteran interviewer:

First things first, like the Boys Scouts, “Always be prepared.”

Prepare carefully by learning background information about the topic and the person you will be interviewing (Mencher, 2011). Look at the company website or social media posts, you can pick up some great talking points and ice breakers.

Planning Involves an Agenda

A checklist

Develop questions ahead of time so you can plan your time efficiently. If you outline the topics that you need to cover, you will be sure to gather the important information (Singer, 2007).

Establish a Rapport

Insight gained from the website or social media posts can help you establish a genuine connection and encourage the flow of conversation. Ask open and closed-ended questions and be prepared to take notes (Singer, 2007).

Open-ended questions are great for getting someone talking but be mindful of your agenda. Sometimes the conversation can be derailed if we deviate from the topic.

Listen Carefully with Eyes & Ears

Eyes & Ears

We communicate with words but also our body language and gestures. Listen and watch attentively for non-verbal cues. Stay open to what is being said, ask clarifying questions, and present options as suggestions (Robertson, 2005).


Mencher, M. (2011). Interviewing Principles chapter in, Melvin Mencher’s News Reporting and Writing (12th ed.) New York, NY: McGraw Hill Education.

Robertson, K. (2005). Active Listening: More than just paying attention. Australian Family Physician 34(12).

Singer, W. (2007). How to Interview Subject Matter Experts. Intercom 54(9), p. 16. Retrieved from


2 thoughts on “Interview Like a Pro

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  1. TheIntrovertedID – Hello, I'm an instructional designer, consultant, and eLearning developer. I have a mixed background in sales, marketing, teaching, and instructional design—starting with the dot com boom in the early 2000s, moving to print and radio, then on to teaching, and now instructional design. Phew! 😅 My reflective nature, love for ideation, and desire to make deep connections make me a good partner and consultant. I'll listen to your needs and challenge you to think outside the box, when needed, to reach your goals. There’s no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to learning and development (L&D)... and that's what I love about it! So, let's explore what you have going on in your L&D world 🌎 I’d love to talk with you about how I can serve you and your team!
    Laine I. says:

    Hi Rhonda, you make an excellent point about using social media to research your interviewee/company, as well as to help build rapport. In today’s time with so much information available to us, there is no excuse not to be prepared for an interview!

  2. Good content Rhonda and I like your conversational tone, like bringing the quote from Boy Scouts; however, I would suggest working on your layout – do you need somany images? be consistent with the type of images that you choose? You may have duplicated an image it looks like. Also the size differences between the text font and the size of the images need to be reworked from a sizing perspective.

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