Creative Interview Questions

creative interview questionsCreative interview questions are a must in order to get a good interview from a celebrity. When the person you are interviewing is trotted around from reporter to reporter, the last thing they want to hear is the same old question asked over and over again. You need to make it a point to do your homework and come up with a question that nobody has asked them before. This will get their attention and even the person who doesn’t talk much normally will start to talk. “Andrew Warner’s Interview Your Heroes” is an online class for interview techniques that can help get you started.

Who Does Interviews?

Interviews come up in a lot of areas and for a lot of different jobs. If you want to hire someone then you will interview applicants. People who host podcasts, radio shows and journalists all need to interview people from time to time, if not every day. The people who are being interviewed are making the rounds promoting something. This means they are exhausted, tired of talking and very tired of talking about whatever it is they are promoting. If you want to get the interview your listeners or readers are going to want to listen to then you need to prepare for that interview with some creative interview questions. If you are interviewing applicants for a job then you need to be creative to get the applicant to open up and talk enough for you to judge if they are right for the job.

How to Find Creative Interview Questions

What most interviewers do is read the press release that was issued at the time the interview booking was requested. Then the interviewer asks questions related to whatever it is the celebrity is promoting. Perhaps they are coming out with a new book or they are starring in a new show or movie. Perhaps you should not ask them about that.

The reason you want to skip any questions related to what they are promoting is because every reporter is asking them the same questions about that. You already have enough information from the press release that will answer any question you might have about that event. You can use that information in your introduction or in your story. What you want to do is to get that celebrity’s attention fast and maybe throw them off guard. You will then have their full attention and get great answers.

First, you can look at the person’s Wikipedia page for interesting tidbits about the person you are about to interview. Do keep in mind that most of what is written on that website is incorrect. If you find something on a wiki page that you want to ask during your interview then be very careful to ask if it is true. You don’t want to look like an idiot by asking someone more information about something that turns out to be misinformation.  Your source won’t look stupid, you will look stupid.

The best source of unusual information about a celebrity is to ask his or her fans. They can come up with some great information to ask about in an interview and the fan is excited to have their question used. You can find out bizarre things, things nobody else knows about a celebrity just by asking his or her fans what you should ask. Fans will also come up with long forgotten trivia about the person that you can breathe new life into.

Shoot For the Goal

The goal in an interview is to entertain your readers or listeners with facts and interesting conversation with this person you are interviewing. If the person is famous then there must be something that is interesting about them. Your job is to get them talking about fascinating stories or get them to have fun talking with you.

One way to come up with creative interview questions is to find some obscure fact about the person you are interviewing and tie it to a current news story. Let’s say you stumble across some information that this rock star used to be a champion boxer when he was a kid. There is a big story being repeated a lot in the press about an octopus that is predicting the outcome of the upcoming welter weight championship fight. Ask the rock star something along the lines of, “There is an octopus at the casino that is predicting that Sanchez is going to win the big fight this weekend. Who do you think is going to take the belt in this fight?”  This question really throws the rock star off guard because he has no idea where you are going with asking him about an octopus at first. You have his complete and undivided attention. By the time you get to the end and he realizes that you are asking him about boxing, he’s your buddy for life. He loves to talk about boxing and his old days as a champ. He will give you a solid five minutes on who he thinks is going to win that bout.

When you go in for your first question, you want it to be shocking and strange. You don’t want to insult the person you are interviewing, but you want to get their attention. Usually, strange and mostly hidden facts about their life or interests will be enough to get their full attention. If his fan tells you to ask him about him being visited by aliens, do not pass on this question. Most of the time, the fan knows what they are talking about. Ask the question. If you are worried this is just some nutcase fan, phrase it so that you are not taking responsibility for that particular question by saying, “One of your fans asked me to have you tell me more about being visited by aliens.” Boom! The fan was 100% right and you get the story of the year and the celebrity starts spilling their guts on the topic of being visit by aliens.

How to Start Interviewing

If you want to do creative and interesting interviews then you are going to need to practice. Try setting up some interviews with people you know. Take an online course that helps you practice interviewing techniques and helps you get started with techniques for podcasting interviews. You can pick just some average people to talk to in order to see how you sound on the recording and practice that aspect of it. You can find some local celebrities to speak to and try out interview questions. A local celebrity should have enough information already published that is accessible on the Internet for you to research. Find some odd facts about the person and tie it to a current event in town and ask them about it.  You never know, during your practice runs you might accidentally stumble across some sort of local scandal.

Don’t Be “That Guy”

If you ask the same old tired questions of people then you are likely going to get a response like this UK reporter did from Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino went off on this reporter because the reporter asked nothing but the old tired questions every reporter asks. Tarantino gives the reporter a good lesson on how to do his job, but the lazy reporter appears to not care in the least and continues to ask old, hackneyed questions. It is easy to guess that the reporter was not able to change horses in the middle of the stream given he had never done any research on Tarantino, so he had no choice but to fill the airtime with the tired questions he derived from the issued press release. This was all to Tarantino’s disgust.

When you want to get someone’s attention, do so but still follow the rules of the interview. If the person giving the press conference puts a requirement on questions to “stay on topic” then stay on topic. Asking creative interview questions and starting with an attention getting question does not mean you should break the rules. If you do something stupid then you will have an interview that gives you nothing but humiliation. Choose your questions wisely and enter the interview with far more questions than you will have time to ask. This gives you somewhere to go if you are forced to skip questions and go in another direction. You need to keep fluid and be prepared to flow in any direction.

Creative Interview Questions

Creative interview questions can get you a fantastic interview that is entertaining for your listeners or readers of your column. If you are thinking of starting a podcast then an online class can help you with interviews and also teach you how to start your own podcast from scratch. In no time at all you’ll be an interviewer that people look to to ask the really awesome questions.