This is a general guide to interviews for CE3 (or, really, interviews in general). The CE3 crew prepared this list of tips so that you can prepare to give a better interview and feel more ready and confident about your presentation. It’s a long read, but we hope that this will cover most questions and concerns you might have about your upcoming talk.
Many of the interview tips may also be helpful for non-CE3-related interviews, as well, so we hope these can be useful to you in those ways, as well.
What should I expect during my interview?
- We will mostly talk to you for about half an hour, with roughly 15 to 20 minutes of that being about the project you submitted to our show.
- A reduced, five-minute-or-less-version of the interview will make it to the initial livestream, and a full version of your interview will be uploaded to our YouTube channel after the show.
- When you submitted your project, you should have marked that you would like to do an interview for the livestream and sent us your Skype and contact information. We will use this to work out an interview date and time with you.
- If you change your mind about the interview (whether you want to do it or cancel it), contact MatthewDratt via the Crew page.
- Either MatthewDratt or Slow Bullet will call you on Skype on the scheduled date and time, and the two hosts will be on the line. We will probably talk for a bit to break the ice, and then start the interview.
- When we are actually conducting the interview, we would really appreciate it if you could also record your own voice through the free program Audacity or a similar voice recorder and send that to us after we’re done. This way, we can have a crisper version of your voice for the final show.
- The interview itself should last for that 15 to 20 minutes, but we recommend you keep up to one hour of your day open for the interview.
What are we expecting from your interview?
CE3 is generally a platform for you, the creator, to present what you’ve worked on –this means our biggest expectation is for you to take advantage of this opportunity and show yourself off! But keep in mind that an interview is a two-way conversation between you and us (the hosts). Be funny, creative, talkative, or interesting if that’s your thing, but keep your answers sweet and concise so that we can talk, too! Your biggest job here is to find that balance between information and entertainment when you have the spotlight.
How should I prepare for my interview?
There are quite a few things that may be helpful to make your interview for CE3 easier for you, smoother for us, and more fun to watch for viewers. Here are some suggestions as to what you could do or keep in mind.
When you hear back from us…
- Tell us what you want.
CE3 does have a list of generic questions to ask, but your segment might be more fun to watch if you provide us with your own questions. Avoid things like “why did you make this?,” but weave that into something more good, juicy, and thought-provoking.
- …as well as what you don’t want.
If your project isn’t done yet, or there’s something else you want to keep under wraps, feel free to let us know and we can make that into a cliffhanger or keep it off limits.
- Let us be your hype man.
We can introduce your work and give sound bites or statistics before you come on stage (as long as you give us a copy of those facts).
- Remember you’re in control, too.
Although our hosts will ask the questions, you can influence what direction the interview is taking by preparing a list of facts or highlights you want to mention.
- Keep it simple, stupid.
Write down two to four key points that you want to emphasize during the interview. What’s your point? What are you trying to tell the audience? Revolve what you say around these main points.
- Show and Tell.
Make sure you can show (not just tell!) the audience why they should care about what you made and give it a shot.
- Download Skype and Audacity.
We’ll need your Skype to conduct the interview, and we would really appreciate it if you could record your own voice on the free audio recording and editing program Audacity. If you need help setting up either program, let us know, and we’d be happy to help.
- Practice, practice, practice.
You’ll be less nervous and disorganized, we’ll have an easier time working with you, and the audience will feel more entertained than awkward if you practice. Seriously, this is important. Of all the things we could have made red, this is the point we made red. Keep this in mind.
Before the Interview…
- Find a good place for the interview.
Remember that, since you’ll “be” a Halo biped in the show, the only part of you that viewers will get to “see” is your voice. That means if we can’t hear you or there’s a lot of noise in the background, it’s hard to know what you’re telling us. See if you can find a clean, quiet room, a private room in a library, or a corner in a café when you talk to us. “Do not disturb” signs are your friends!
- Sit up (or better yet, stand up) and be physical.
“How you act changes how people see you” goes for audio interviews, too; people can tell how alert, excited, and passionate you are just by hearing your voice. This means, if you talk while standing up, let yourself use your favorite hand gestures, and/or smiling, people can tell you care and have more feelings about what you’re talking about. Seriously, it’s science.
- Check your connections.
Make sure you have a decently reliable Wi-Fi and working copy of Skype.
- Get a hold of a headset or external microphone.
Any mic will technically do, but you will get the best sounds from a specialized microphone.
- Have a cup or bottle of water with you.
You’ll want to give your answers to the hosts’ questions in length, so your mouth might get dry. Don’t let that happen.
- Chat with the hosts for a bit before your interview.
Your interview doesn’t start right after you pick up the call on Skype. Relax, and get to know your hosts a little bit (and let them know you a bit too!). A little small talk can go a long way to having a more comfortable and fun talk!
- Breathe. Relax.
We won’t say “imagine the audience in their underwear” because that’s kind of weird, but don’t stress! Tense up your muscles and relax them, take several deep breaths, calm your thoughts… it’s okay. You’ll do great.
What should/shouldn’t I do during the interview?
This varies wildly, but we tried to gather a couple of important points here:
Keep in mind that, normally, more than half of the impression you communicate to people is non-verbal. Since you only have half the things you normally have to get your points across, make sure it all counts!
Here are some very basic questions that we have come up with, as well as suggestions on how you can use these to expand on your conversation… in other words, we will do our best not to ask these questions once we get rolling. Please be sure to come up with your own questions as well, especially if you would like to go more in-depth about your project!
- What is your project? What inspired you to do it?
Needless to say, this is the easiest way for you to start with your origin story, as well as backstage details on anything exciting happening during development.
- Why did you call your project the name that it has?
This can also be a good segway into the history of your project or backstage stories, as well.
- What was the best/hardest/most interesting part for you when you were working on this project?
This question is basically begging for more details on some features or production details on your project.
- What’s up with (detail or missing part in your submission)?
Time to ‘fess up about that little detail in your project… or not. Depends on your strategy.
- Were there any hurdles or benefits you didn’t expect that came up as you worked on your project?
This one should be pretty straightforward; production never goes 100% smoothly, and now is your time to explain how your seas were choppy.
- Where did you think this project would have led you when you started on it?
Did the scale of your project shrink, grow, or change over time? Did anything curious, challenging, or unexpected come up?
- What are you planning to do next with this?
Any future plans with your project(s)?
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
It’s only natural that we will let you ask us anything or tack anything else onto the interview. Now’s your chance!
If you’re feeling bold…
- Tell a story.
This is the biggest reason single player campaigns are the biggest parts of CE3 –because, as an article on Entrepreneur.com puts it, stories “give presentations their soul[s].” Whether it’s something from the development cycle of your project or the actual storyline of your campaign, a good story makes you memorable, emotionally relatable, and just plain awesome as a presenter. And besides, who wants to be soulless?
- Teach your audience.
Offer them an experience. Entice them into wanting to try out what you made. Don’t fire facts at them or simply serve information; make them want to come get it.
- Practice your enunciation.
- Fight to stay on track, or to deflect questions.
Take a look at how a guest for this hypothetical show on AskMens.com handles two of this rude host’s questions:
Host: When does the movie come out?
Guest: In February. I’m proud of this film because it’s my scariest, goriest yet. It’ll knock the socks off my fans.
Host: Film reviewers don’t seem to think so, though. Why’s that?
Guest: I don’t expect everyone to love it, but I’m proud of this film because it’s my scariest, goriest yet. It’ll knock the socks off my fans.
Keep in mind…
- This is a conversation, not a monologue. Don’t be afraid to engage with our hosts, but also don’t ramble with your answers.
- Be clear and concise with what you say.
- The information you present matters, but how easily you can understand it and how passionate you are about your work matters just as much!
- Breathe, calm down, and have fun with your time talking with us!
We hope this helped, and that you do well in your interview with us!
All links valid as of June 25, 2015 at 2:00AM EDT.