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Interviewing webinars are increasingly popular options for educating your audience in a way that is interesting, engaging, and easy to follow. When we discuss interviewing webinars, we are not talking about hiring processes but rather podcast-style interactions between experts in your field. These kinds of presentations are designed to provide your audience with education and information in a manner that is easier to follow than reading long-form copy, for example. And one of the added benefits for your team could be the practice required to interview subject matter experts in an engaging way. This skill will be extremely helpful for future job interviews. In this guide, we’ll discuss the basics of interviewing webinars, including tips on what interview questions to ask.
First, it’s important to remember that interviewing a person via webinar is different from interviewing in person. There are some key components to keep in mind when interviewing through webinars, such as creating an engaging interviewing environment and finding the right technology platform for your needs. Additionally, you’ll need to be aware of potential interviewing challenges, such as time delays and technical difficulties.
When it comes to deciding which interview questions to ask, the most important thing is to ask relevant questions that will help you get a better understanding of the interviewee’s skills and experience. Try to stick to open-ended questions that spark conversation and avoid ones with yes or no answers. Additionally, be sure to ask follow-up questions and allow enough time for the interviewee to answer.
Remember that interviewing through webinars is not only about asking the right questions; it’s also about creating a positive experience for the person being interviewed, and in turn, for the audience members listening to the webinar. Be sure to create an engaging environment by providing visuals and audio cues, and make sure to establish a friendly and respectful tone. Keep in mind that with the webinar interview style, you can engage your viewers in a dynamic conversation about important topics related to their field. Sometimes the conversation may go off-topic and the person leading the interview may have to rein it back in, but it’s important to allow these deviations occasionally as they can help to keep the audience engaged. Instead of presenting alone, this strategy allows you to invite an expert who brings valuable knowledge and insight into the discussion. Asking industry-based questions will enable both you and your audience to gain invaluable information on what matters most.
By following these tips, interviewing through webinars can be a great way to connect with potential employees while saving time and money. With the right approach, you’ll be able to find the perfect candidate for your team.
Your webinar subject selection will largely depend on your industry and the particular questions that will interest and engage your audience. For example, at Pillar we might offer a webinar on interview skills as that is the subject matter that our audience is looking for. Your industry will determine your subject choice.
When planning your Zoom webinar interview, tips to keep in mind are:
Keep in mind that as you create an engaging and interesting webinar interview, your team is practicing their skills for developing engaging interviews that keep people interested and follow the natural flows of conversation. This can be instrumental for teams engaging in hiring interviews at other times and can act as on-the-job training for interviewing candidates.
Conducting a good interview is an art form as much as it is a skill and it requires preparation and practice to get it right. When interviewing candidates for a role at a company, the interviews are designed to engage a single person, determine their competency and knowledge, and test out how your own team interacts with and gets along with the candidate. Using interviewing webinars as an education tool with your audience allows your team to develop and understand interviewing skills that can help revolutionize your candidate interviewing process as well.
The internet is full of advice for conducting interviews, providing suggestions about how to develop your questions, determine your subject matter flow, keep your audience engaged, and more. Just like in a candidate interview, your interviewing team for your webinar should prepare in advance. Learn some interviewing techniques and try them out in a low-stakes environment first, perhaps asking other team members your questions and recording them and the answers they provide to determine whether the questions hit with the audience and whether the answers flow naturally from the questions. Study up on interviewing techniques for interviewers and try several in a rehearsal format until you determine which flow works best for your interviewer and subject. Each person is different, but the audiences’ needs will always be the same: they want to stay interested!
Remember that even the most experienced interviewers (think Oprah) plan in advance and do their complete research. For example, you’d never hear Oprah interview a writer and confess that she had never read their book. Oprah will always know all the most important points from the book and based on her response, the audience will believe that she did, in fact, read the book. This should always be the standard for any interviewer.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the greatest barriers to a good webinar can be technical difficulties. For this reason, it’s important to not only have a quality remote interview setup but to test your technology in advance to make sure that everything is functioning as it should be. Some podcasters who interview remotely will actually send their interviewee the exact technology they need for the interview, which may include software or laptops, microphones, cameras, and more. If you go this route, you will also have to provide detailed instructions and some form of tech support to ensure that the interviewee is ready to go, on time, and comfortable with the process.
Another step to ensure interview success is to provide your interviewee with the intended flow of the interview and allow them to see the remote interview questions that you intend to ask during the interview. You may suggest that they don’t write down detailed answers in advance as reading during an interview is far less engaging than candid speaking, but allowing them to prepare in advance, look up anecdotes they may want to share, consider research they have done and that they may want to reference, etc., will ultimately improve the quality of the interview and keep everyone involved and everyone who is listening interested and engaged with the content.
If you ever listen to popular podcast interviews, you’ll notice the conversational tone of the podcast and how it’s much more interesting to listen to when it feels candid. The key to making an interview sound and feel like a natural conversation is preparation. No interviews are ever conducted on popular podcasts without the interviewer and interviewee both knowing exactly what they are going to be discussing from start to finish. The actual implementation may be more improvisational, but the outline should be clear at the outset.
As you begin considering an interview webinar, we recommend following our basic tips for preparing for an interview, keeping in mind that all interviews, whether they are for jobs or for engaging an audience, have similar goals in mind. You may choose to use common interview questions which, in a job interview, would give you the opportunity to discover how knowledgeable your candidate is. Those same questions posted to a knowledgeable expert will be engaging to your audience. As you prepare, know that you know how to prepare for a Zoom interview with a candidate already. A presentation interview will follow those same principles, but ultimately should be easier for you to create and require fewer follow-up actions.
And at the end of the process of creating an interview webinar, you and your team will be even more equipped for future job interviews!
Have you ever used interview intelligence software for an interview? This software, like what we offer at Pillar, can help you not only conduct job interviews but could also provide you with the tools you need for podcast or webinar interviews as well. We invite you to sign up for a demo.