Good Video Good, Bad Video Bad Part 2 - Interviewers

Good Video Good - Interviewers With Information

The best thing you can do for an interview is research. If you're going to talk to Martin Scorsese, don't ask him what it's like working with Leonardo DiCaprio. All you're saying when you ask that is that you haven't done any research.

When Turing CEO Martin Shkreli raised the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim from $13.50 per dose to $700, CNBC had him on to answer questions about the price change.

Clearly, the worst thing about this interview is that Shkreli saw the new Spiderman movie and went straight to his barber demanding that he give him "The Harry Osborn". But, there are plenty of good points.

What else is good about this interview?

  • Research, research, research - The interviewers know plenty of data (Turing's staff, Mr. Shkreli's career path, the differences between biotech and pharma). Because the interviewers have done the research and know the vocabulary, they can ask questions that the average viewer can understand about a very complex industry.
  • Direct and honest engagement - The interviewers are speaking with Shkreli directly and honestly and this gives him chances to answer questions directly and honestly. His answers weren't popular with the viewing public, but he was given an opportunity to say what he wanted.
  • Focus - The conversation never loses focus on the drug price change, how the decision came about and the affect it will have on people.

Bad Video Bad - Interviewer With An Agenda

So, if the best thing you can do is go into an interview with a plan, the worst thing should be just the opposite - going in without a plan. But, there's something even worse than that - going in with an agenda.

When you go into an interview with an agenda, you are trying to push your views on the interviewee instead of trying to get information or opinions from your interviewee. It's the difference between asking "What kind of ice cream do you like?" and "Chocolate ice cream is the best kind of ice cream. Can you prove me wrong?"

Wow. That's bad. Why?

  • Never open an interview with the question "What is wrong with you?"
  • So many impossible questions. For example, "Why can't you imagine a life not in public office?" That question doesn't even make sense.
  • Half of O'Donnell's questions aren't even questions. He'll just talk for a while and then say something confusing like, "When you look at the totality of your life, do you think you spent your time well?"
  • Simple point - both people are talking over each other which is really annoying to hear.

Towards the end of the interview, Anthony says, "This can't be good TV for anyone." He's absolutely correct.