Matt’s tips overlap with some of mine, but he says them better, so I encourage you to check out his advice if you’ve found mine helpful. Here’s my favorite of Matt’s 10 points:
The very best interviews feel like great conversations. This may be one of my quirks as an interviewer, but I’ve found this to be true both as an interviewer and as an interviewee. Interviews often start out as interrogations — a back-and-forth series of questions and answers. But great interviews don’t tend to end that way. With the interview, I’m not merely trying to unlock the bits of knowledge in your head, and I’m certainly not trying to see how well you anticipate the answers locked in my head. I am trying to assess how you think, what you’re passionate about, how we gel as colleagues.
If I veer away from asking questions and start riffing off your ideas or telling stories of my own, don’t wait for the interrogation to resume — join in. Your questions, reactions, asides, brow-furrowed musings and rejoinders are all just as interesting to me as your answers, and if I’m trying to elicit them, it’s a good sign.
I encourage reading the full piece. Matt’s one of the smartest people in journalism and co-presented (with Justin Ellis) one of the best sessions at the Online News Association conference last week.
If you’re looking for work now — or want to be ready next time you need to look — you also might want to browse some of my earlier posts on the topic: