"How to Interview Subject Matter Experts" with John Becker (Content Lab, Ep. 34)
By Liz Murphy
One of the most important tasks any content management or digital marketing professional will undertake is interviewing subject matter experts for content marketing purposes.
It's so important, I wrote an entire article on how to screen for interviewing skills when hiring a content manager for your company.
Because, here's the thing about interviewing subject matter experts -- it's not as easy as it sounds.
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Over the past six years, I've conducted hundreds of hours of subject matter expert interviews, and I made a lot of mistakes along the way, because I thought all I had to do was hop on the phone with a list of questions, ask them, get answers to them, and move on with my day.
This is actually quite a common misconception. Interviewing subject matter experts for content is a bit of an art form, and there are a lot of things you need to think about:
- How you prepare for the interview in advance.
- What the atmosphere and setting are like for the interview itself; and what you do when you're stranded in a less than ideal interviewing situation.
- How to build rapport with an interview subject so they (a) feel comfortable with you, (b) loosen up if they're nervous, and (c) ultimately, give you the expert goodness you need.
- Having backup plans and strategies for interview subjects who aren't cooperating or giving you what you need to consider the interview a success.
- And a lot more.
That's why I invited our new editorial content associate, John Becker, to join me this week to talk about all of those things and more.
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