Who's that Girl?


Interesting Interview Technique

Originally posted: February 23, 2011 on TrishMcFarlane.com

It’s a typical morning as I decide what to share on the blog today.  I have a few ideas that are half baked that I think are pretty good.  So, I started putting some meat to one of those.  As I’m writing , I’m listening to Inside the Actors Studio in the background.  Of course, since I’m easily distracted, this has changed the whole direction of what I’m interested in writing about.

The show

Inside the Actors Studio is a long-running show on BRAVO.  The show is hosted by James Lipton, an award winning writer, actor, and producer.  It’s his ability to pick apart other actors during an interview  in front of acting students that transcends information you would hear in many of the run-of-the-mill interviews you’d hear on Extra, Entertainment Tonight, or the like.  Mr. Lipton questions, inquires, and challenges the actors so that you see beyond and beneath the veneer they so often use to distance themselves from the prying world.

The show has a section at the end where Mr. Lipton asks a series of questions in quick repetition such as:

  • What is your favorite word?
  • What sound or noise do you hate?
  • What is your favorite curse word?

What caught my attention is the style and manner in which Mr. Lipton asks the questions.  He does not face the actor. He faces the audience and almost appears as if he is disinterested in the actor although his voice clearly indicates his interest.

Wouldn’t that be an interesting, albeit intimidating, interview technique in the workplace.  It would also be an interesting investigative technique.  Give it a look and tell me what you think in the comments.  Have you ever interviewed and not faced the individual?  How do you think it might change the tone of the interview?

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