Questions within a question
Did you watch Indian PM Modi’s interview by Arnab Goswami, and did you notice how many questions he asked in a single question? (How many questions do you see in my question above?)
Most of us who have watched PBS/CBS interview host Charlie Rose know that he prefers to give the interviewee maximum time and keeps his questions short. Unlike him, there are many other interviewers who tend to bombard the person on the other side and the audience with many questions in one breath.
Shane Snow wrote an interesting piece in one of his LinkedIn posts about effective communicators in which he used the examples of two interviews with Elon Musk. Snow highlighted the difference in the way questions were asked and for your benefit, I am sharing an excerpt from his post.
Looking at the above comparison, it may be your choice to avoid asking many questions with a question and a need to explain your question.
After the PM’s interview with Arnab was broadcast, one of the top 10 Twitter trends for India contained a tag #QuestionsArnabDidNotAsk. Why did that happen? In a democratic architecture, it is said that the media is its fourth pillar and the role of a journalist is to ask all those questions the citizen would like to find answers from their elected government. After watching the interview, some of us would have had a feeling that most of the replies were already in the public domain (from various other government sources) as the questions were framed to extract only rhetorical content. The most disappointing Q&A was regarding the unemployment and job creation in a country where more than 70% people are less than 35 years old and without a meaningful employment. (What is meaningful employment?)
How to design and conduct structured interviews
The most important aspect of any endeavor, including journalistic interview, is to be very clear on the task’s objectives, process, and outcome. It requires knowledge, skills, abilities and a lot of preparation. Even if you are a hiring manager, the template may vary to match your corporate’s best practice but the core building blocks will remain the same.
Keep the interview legal
Any interview, whether with a celebrity or a political leader or for hiring, is expected to be conducted within a legal framework outlined in the jurisdiction of the location of the interview. For hiring interview, a full-fledged guideline is available in every organization.