If you are a speaker and have attended an Oracle Code, Oracle Open World or other Oracle event chances are you may have been asked to do a video interview. We used to call it DevLive, it has now been rebranded as CodeLive. Either way, when we as Community Managers approach speakers, including those giving Keynotes, one of the common questions we get is "What do I need to prepare, or What will the questions be?
Hear are seven tips including how to prepare, what to wear, how to sit, where to look, how to answer a question etc.
The Rule of Seven
- Preparation: In pretty much any interview you will be the Subject Matter Expert (SME). It's unlikely that the person interviewing you will know more about the topic than you. From a preparation standpoint, it is important to learn how to talk in complete short thoughts. A typical interview for us runs seven to ten minutes. That means in order to get say five good questions and answers in, your replies should not be longer than 60-90 seconds. Keep it brief, and know when to stop.
- Distractions: Turn your phone off. Not silent, power it down, as even a buzz/vibration will be distracting.
- Clothes/Dress: Most of our interviews are at Tech conferences and the audience is mainly developers. You can dress informally, Business casual is good but most developers are in jeans and tshirts which is fine. Avoid wearing saturated colors and or clothes with stripes (eg Ties, shirts). Solid colors work better. White color can be dicey from an exposure standpoint.
- Where to Look: Most likely you will be wired up for your microphone, either with a headset, wireless lapel or other. Position your chair or if not your body so that you are facing your interviewer. Never look directly at the camera. You are having a conversation with the host so make eye contact with them.
- What to say: Answer the question but do it in such a way that a wider audience understands what you are talking about. Use conversational language, don't get lost in jargon.
- How to say it: When you can, smile, breathe, and talk at a normal pace. If you are a fast talker, slow it down. Make it interesting: Avoid answering questions with talking points verbatim. Know what makes you unique, and personalize the answer based on the situation. As long as you're not discussing something sad, have fun, sit up, and be someone who is fun to talk to and affable.
- How to make an impact: No matter what the subject, if at all possible share a story. People love stories, and although they may forget the details of what you shared, they may remember a poignant story you told. This is an extension of Maya Angelou's quote, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Below are two interviews my colleague Bob Rhubart did over Skype with Chris Richardson and Trisha Gee.