You know, being interviewed is not that easy. Here's why.
First of all, you have to have general ideas in mind that you are ready to state at the drop of a hat.
For instance: "All Greeks have beards."
Then you have to have examples that illustrate the truth of the general ideas.
For instance: "Socrates had a beard."
Most people are rarely interviewed so they don't think about the lessons they've learned and they don't think of any evidence that would prove those lessons true.
That's why they're boring.
You might think that a recruiter would know how to give a good interview but they don't because they lead interviews, they don't give interviews themselves. So they are no different from anyone else.
If a candidate has all the information the recruiter needs right at her fingertips, the recruiter just assumes that's natural.
Recruiters are too naive to suspect that the candidate actually prepared for the interview.
Interview prep is a mystery to them. That's why they're boring when they come on The Animal Show.
All of a sudden someone who never gives an interview is asked to share some knowledge and, lo and behold, he's like a deer in the headlights. He doesn't have a thing to say.
Naturally, the guest will blame this on me. And I guess I deserve the blame because it's my job to make the show interesting even if the guest does nothing at all to help.
And they don't. And it's not like I don't ask them to prepare. I do. I beg them to think of stories before the show. And do they come on with stories? No.
Partly because it's just the Recruiting Animal Show. As I said, they think they can wing it when they can't. And they think the show is of no consequence anyway, so it doesn't have to be any good. And, as a result, it usually isn't.
So, if you want to be boring on The Recruiting Animal Show, don't prepare. Don't think of any topics you find interesting then don't think of how you would explain them to other people. That's the way to go.
"Oh, but Animal, I was prepared," the more defensive guest will say. "You just didn't give me the right cues." OK, look, if I don't ask about your favourite topics, just barge in and say "I want to talk about this." And then say something interesting.
If it's a lousy topic or you're verbose I will cut you off. People often say I cut off the good stuff but I don't agree. But, still, if you think I'm doing that you can fight for your right to party That's allowed on The Recruiting Animal Show.
APPENDIX: LETTER TO A GUEST
Here's how to have a good show. Come prepared with tons of detailed step by step examples of whatever it is you want to talk about.
If you are plugging a communication tool you have to have actual stories of how it worked in real life. Not a general description with high level stats but real life stories and lots of them. Also stories about when it didn't work. Not just the good stuff.
This show is infotainment. You have to have practical information but you also have to be entertaining. Many people are not informative or entertaining even when a little preparation is all it takes to be passably good.
My live callers are aggressive recruiters who get very cranky when the guest has nothing to say. You will also make me look bad if you are not interesting. Unfortunately, I'm used to that. See the Archive here.
LETTER TO A GUEST: WHAT IS A STORY?
Here's my problem. No one seems to understand what a story is. They all seem to think that a story is a general statement about some specific event or events.
For instance, "Yes, my candidates get the occasional counter-offer but I warn them ahead of time how to deal with them and they never cause me any problems."
In case you don't realize it, that's not a story. A story tells you the blow-by-blow in one situation so we really know how something happened at a "granular" level. What did you say? What did Bill say? What did he do then?
So, please, please, please come with at least 3 stories. I say 3 because it gives the guest an easy target. Usually they come with none. And this is an hour show so it helps if the guest has prepared something to talk about.
Regards from me.
See also: How To Run a Talk Show