Well, I’ve finally seen it. An article about WordPress Weekly which tells me just how bad it is. Ok, so this is one persons opinion. Honestly though, if this is how you feel about the interview or about the show in general, please let me know. I won’t know if you don’t tell. I enjoyed reading his critique. I even downloaded and listened to the show and I guess I can see where he is coming from. I think the interview went fairly well but then again, thats my opinion.
15 thoughts on “Worst Interview Ever”
hey Jeffro – i updated the article and added your comments about the lag between calls causing some of the pauses. I don’t ‘really’ think it was the worst interview ever but it made for a more interesting post title… lol.
Keep up the good work, I was very glad you interviewed Small Potato and I could feel your pain when he answered your long questions with “no” or other one-word answers. hilarious.
Geek celebrity at it’s finest, keep it up.
I am going to listen to it this evening and make notes.
The critique was funny, but a little bit harsh. I’m a difficult person to interview and that’s after you’ve gotten past my uh’s and um’s. I thought you did a good job of moving the interview along, but I felt a bit rushed so I kept my answers short to avoid long pauses.
Well I sort of agree with what that guy had to say. But it’s not your fault completely. I mean…you asked him the questions and his responses just weren’t all that great. Nothing against SP either though.
Yeah dude,from a listener’s perspective, It did sound bad on your part. The questions were good but it just seemed dull.
Having an interviewee who gives yes / no answers is death to any interview, no matter who the interviewer is. When it’s recorded it just comes out as an interviewer who is completely uninterested in the subject or who does there best work having it written down. Not necessarily true but that’s the way it comes across.
After reading the description, I’m not inclined to listen because, um, ell, that is …………. I try and avoid awkward
I have interviewed people for 13 years.
As subsequent comments in the exchange have reinforced, the headline was rather harsh.
After enjoying the interview, thought that pace wasn’t bad at all. An hour long discussion is a tough thing to keep going and this worked out quite well.
Thanks for the interviews. I appreciate them and also the informal nature. At the same time, don’t entirely dismiss the idea of some prep by sharing possible questions or directions in advance. I am not so certain that it will necessarily ruin the informal nature. Gives you both an opportunity to at least hash some things together in your mind. Not a bad thing.
Thanks again for all the work.
@Shawn Thanks Shawn. I am still learning the best way in which to do these podcasts. Glad you enjoy the informal nature as thats what the gist of the show is all about. Everything is informal. Perhaps I’ll be able to rebound with my interview with Lorelle.
Jeffro, I thought you did a fine job on that interview. SP is quite confident in writing. The problem is people just assume that that confidence carries over into the real world and any deviation from that must be your (the interviewers) fault.
Yes, some of the questions rambled, but you gotta fill time some how when the answers are short.
Overall I enjoyed it. You and SP did a fine job. I’m looking forward to your next episode. Keep up the good work bud.
Having had a chance to listen to it now, I also think the criticism was a little harsh.
I think the problem is that your style is very conversational and you haven’t really needed to lead an interview before. As I recall from the previous ones you have had a hard time stopping it because you and the guest got so into it; you just needed to steer it from time to time.
Because of that I would probably class this as your first real interview and on that basis I think you did a good job.
I recently attended a training session on coaching and the principles seem similar, i.e. instead of asking ‘do you think that x has affected y’ try ‘what do you think of the idea that x has affected y’, and, something that was drilled into us well, was to ask the question and let them answer. There is a temptation to rephrase the question immediately having asked it, or, as you did, to give them a possible answer which tends to close the question; for example:
What do you think of cheese? Do you like the texture? I’ve heard it tastes nice, do you agree?
I hope that made some sense.
@John KolbertThanks John, I really appreciate you taking the time to download and listen to the show and providing your feedback.
@Andrew Andrew, your feedback is golden. I went into this interview thinking it would be an awesome back and forth conversation but it didn’t turn out that way, at least in the beginning. I believe I should of gave small potatoes at least a general idea as to what was going to be discussed or asked during the show. By the half hour mark, I was out of questions and doing everything I could to extend the show to one hour. Thanks goodness Ptah called in and helped me out.
I also ask questions and then answer them at the same time. I will definitely keep your training ideas in mind a`nd perhaps put them all to good use when I interview Lorelle.
I just had a chance to listen to the interview now. I’ll admit it wasn’t an amazing interview but it wasn’t as bad as that post made it out to be. Yes there were some awkward pauses and it seemed a little “dull” at times but I think overall it was an informative listen. Keep it up.
Hi Jeffro. As you know I was there live in the chat room during the interview and I thought it went well. As someone else suggested, I suppose you could always conduct a prep session in the days leading up to the actual interview between you and your potential guest (most interviews are done this way – the guest knows what questions will be asked and has answers ready to go) but then this would detract from the informal nature of the show and it’s my understanding you want an informal atmosphere.
@Leland Thanks Leland. I’ll try to do better on the next show. Each one is considered practice :P
@Len Yep, you were there to witness the worst interview ever (just kidding) I can say that I’ve learned a few things since that episode has been published and of course the article that was written about it and when the comments and suggestions given to me by others, I think the next interview episode should be a big improvement.
I really want to do interviews where the questions are a little bit of a mix between usual questions and questions that normally wouldn’t be asked. Questions which don’t require bread and butter responses. I want to conduct interviews which appear staged, if you get what I’m saying. Yes, I am trying to go the informal route but perhaps I should be a little more formal, than informal.
While I certainly don’t think it was the “worst ever” — not by a long shot — I have to be totally honest, I couldn’t listen to the whole thing. I turned off the second time that Talkshoe surfer interrupted the conversation (the mute/unmute button is your friend in Talkshoe!). Truthfully though, while I think there are things you could have done better, I don’t think a large part of the problem was in your control. You had a difficult interview subject — SP is clearly a very smart, very talented guy — but lots of times people with his personality type are difficult to interview. I’ve been there. I contribute to a weekly podcast (using Talkshoe), do a weekly videocast (we’re late with new episodes because we’ve been busy but we actually interviewed Lorelle a few weeks ago — she’s a FANTASTIC interview — spectacular) and just got back from SXSW where I did roughly a dozen interviews with various people about various products/services. I’m certainly no expert, but I feel for you with some of the criticism because it is definitely MUCH harder than it looks.
My only real problem with the interview was that it didn’t seem like you were well versed with your subject. You didn’t know where he lived, seemed unfamiliar with any of his basic background (I know you were only recently made aware of his site, which frankly surprised me because I remember running across WP Designer before I even decided to get off my ass and into WordPress, and that’s fine — but you seemed wholly unfamiliar with even a basic CV), basic stuff that wouldn’t have taken long to cover before the interview and would have probably made things less awkward. When I do pre-recorded interviews, I often don’t have time to get all that information (because we’re doing it with someone as “an expert” or whatever), but for anything live, it really helps to do basic prep about who a person is, where they live, yada yada, not only so you are more familiar, but so the subject feels more comfortable during the interview. The toughest part of a live interview is making the subject comfortable and that’s where a brief pre-interview conversation can come in handy.
If I could offer any constructive criticism, it would be (and this goes with some of the other shows I’ve listened to parts of too) to try to have a more clear show outline — that doesn’t mean you over-prepare or rehearse a script, but try to have an outline and timeline of topics and points you want to get across. If you do this already, maybe try to keep it in front of you or try to be more aware of the time — it’s easy to ramble when trying to fill dead air or to talk too much about one area. If there are specific points you want to highlight or get across during an interview or discussion in general, make a basic note of what those are – so that you can either bring them up in the form of a question or as a discussion point. You might already be doing this — I would just say especially when something is looking like it is going to run short, having an outline of at least the major points or questions you want to get across is a good way to at least ensure that the content is there. If it looks like something is going to go short, try to get questions from the chat — or worst case, end early. Better end early than try to eek out something that isn’t working just to fill a quota.
As with anything else, all of this takes practice. If I listen back at (or watch back) some of the interviews I did even a few months ago, compared with some of the stuff I did at SXSW, it’s an amazing difference — and I was a communications major in college, but just doing it hands-on is really the best type of experience.
I also want to commend you on being so open to criticism and being a big enough person to be able to joke about it and actually look for feedback. Many, MANY people are not that secure and would have the opposite reaction. Seriously Jeff, kudos.
Keep up the good work!