Roving Report: How to Conduct a Great Interview

Business, Technology, Internet And Network Concept. Young Busine

If you want to write case studies — or many other types of content — the ability to conduct a great interview is an essential skill.

B2B copywriter Ed Gandia is a master of the interview. He’s also a wonderful writer and teacher, and “he knows the B2B industry like nobody’s business,” explained Wealthy Web Writer‘s Managing Editor, Heather Robson.

Ed spoke with Heather and Wealthy Web Writer members about what it takes to conduct a top-notch interview that yields outstanding results. You can listen to the teleconference HERE.

Ed never set out to become a copywriter. He actually started his career in sales, and the copywriting happened by accident. The company Ed worked for didn’t provide him with the sales materials he needed, so he started writing his own.

The pieces he wrote were very effective, and he loved the idea that his writing was helping to put money in his pocket. That’s when Ed “fell in love with the idea that writing something was salesmanship on paper.”

“Eventually,” he told us, “I came across the AWAI Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. That’s when I realized you could make a living doing this.”

He started writing on the side and transitioned to full-time copywriting over about three years. Since he’d been in IT for many years, he leveraged what he knew by writing for the software industry.

After becoming a copywriter full time, Ed wanted to help others to do what he’d done. He realized there wasn’t much information on that, so he started teaching and coaching.

Today, teaching and coaching comprises about 95% of his business, and he writes only for one long-established client.

He loves teaching copywriters how to launch and grow their copywriting businesses, and he provides a lot of free information on his website, B2B Launcher.

Let’s dive in to Ed’s advice about how to conduct an interview.

Preparation

Ed explained that 80% of the success of an interview comes in the preparation.

He pointed out that interviews aren’t just for case studies. You’ll also employ your interviewing skills when you interview a client at the beginning of a project, and when you talk with subject matter experts.

Often you’ll use interviews in preparing white papers. And definitely, when working on a case study, you’ll need excellent interviewing skills while you’re talking with your client’s customer.

“If you prepare well, you position yourself for a successful interview,” Ed announced.

He admitted that he still gets a little nervous about getting on the phone with a client, but preparation brings down the anxiety. “It will make you feel better,” he stated, “and will turn a potentially mediocre interview into a great one.”

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

One Comment

  • Thanks for the article! I too, have been in the interviewer’s chair where I worked as a Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Army Reserve for over 12 years, interviewing all types of people for all walks of life for news reporting through personality profiles, both in person and over the phone. Thanks again for the tips on interviewing.

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