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How to Avoid Interview Mistakes: Insights from Emma Robertson

Updated: Jul 9

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How to Avoid Interview Mistakes: Insights from Emma Robertson

Podcasting has become a popular medium for sharing stories, ideas, and expertise. At the heart of every great podcast episode is an engaging interview. Conducting an effective interview is an art that requires preparation, clear communication, and a knack for asking the right questions.

In this episode, we turn to the insights of Emma Robertson, a seasoned media professional who has mastered the art of conducting effective podcast interviews.

With a diverse career spanning journalism, television, and digital content creation, Emma brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. Her insights provide valuable guidance for anyone looking to improve their interviewing skills in the world of podcasting.

Emma Robertson's career spans journalism, television, and digital content creation. She started her career in journalism and transitioned into television, working first for the BBC in London. There, she developed and produced the BAFTA-nominated series, Heston Blumenthal’s In Search of Perfection, and worked with all the UK’s broadcasters over the next ten years. Her ability to nurture on-screen talent was honed, collaborating with big names like Jamie Oliver, David Harewood, and Piers Morgan.

In 2012, a passion for documentary film led Robertson to leave television. This new pursuit was combined with creating digital content for brands such as Deliveroo, Phaidon Press, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2015, she moved to the US and founded Shift Return Digital, her Phoenix-based production company.

Key Learnings from Emma Robertson

Emma shared her experiences and insights on how to avoid common interview mistakes. She took us back to an interview in 2013 with famous chef Massimo Bertura that went differently than planned. Despite the challenges, she emphasized that in many ways, no interview goes to plan, and that's part of the process.

She stressed the importance of creating a natural flow and compared the process to a workout routine or a story arc. The beginning of the interview should consist of simple, entry-level questions that give the audience insight into who the guest is. As the conversation progresses, the questions should aim to reach an emotional, intellectual, or mental peak. This should occur about midway through the conversation. The end of the interview should be a cool-down period, where the host and guest reflect on the discussion and its takeaways.

Avoiding multiple-choice questions is another tip from Robertson. Questions with multiple threads can confuse the guest. Stick to one clear, concise question at a time.

Building trust with the guest is crucial for a successful interview. Spend time getting to know them and show genuine interest in their experiences and insights.

In conclusion, the art of interviewing is a skill that can be honed with practice, preparation, and a keen understanding of your guest. Emma Robertson's insights provide valuable guidance for anyone looking to conduct effective and engaging interviews. From the importance of creating a natural flow to the necessity of asking clear, concise questions, these tips can help ensure a smooth interview process. Remember, every interview is an opportunity to learn, grow, and connect with others. So, embrace the unpredictable fun of podcasting and keep those conversations flowing!

To further enhance your interviewing skills, we offer a free guide: "Interviewing with Confidence." This guide provides valuable strategies for successful interviews, such as thorough guest research, creating a pre-interview ritual, and building guest relationships. To access the full content and gain more insights, sign up now. This guide will surely help you avoid mistakes during an interview and boost your confidence. 

Happy podcasting.

The Complete Guide to Interviewing with Confidence

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