Conducting video testimonial interviews can be a nerve-wracking and frustrating experience for both sides.
As the interviewer, your biggest goal is to get usable video clips to help with your company recruiting efforts. The last thing you want to do is waste your time (or the driver’s) with an interview that yields no results.
The good news is, if you feel like you struggle to conduct effective interviews, you can improve your technique because interviewing is a skill.
That means anyone can learn it and improve.
In this post, we’ve put together five interviewing tips for getting high-quality driver video testimonials. Read about them below.
Build Rapport And Start With a “Softball” Question
The more comfortable a driver is during the testimonial, the better responses you’ll get. So, how can you make sure they’re as comfortable and confident as possible? The best way is to build rapport at the beginning of the video testimonial.
Try to come across confident, friendly, and energetic. Give the driver a warm smile and thank them for talking with you. Make some small talk with them right off the bat. Go over the process a bit and ask if they have any questions. Try to put them at ease.
To start the testimonial, try asking an easy “softball” question to get them warmed up. A great opening question is, “What’s your name, who do you drive for, and how long have you driven for them?”
When you begin an interview with an easy personal question, you can start to build rapport and get the driver primed for more involved questions. You’ll also learn a bit about them and be able to tailor your questions based on their personal experiences.
Ask Open Ended Questions
This is the biggest mistake interviewers make. They’ll ask “yes or no” questions that don’t evoke strong responses.
If you ask a driver “do you like driving for your company,” they’ll probably just say “yes.” Then, when you ask them to explain, they’ll feel put on the spot. It’s a clunky and round-about way to get what you’re really asking.
Instead, ask open ended questions such as:
- Why do you like driving for your company?
- What’s your favorite part about being a truck driver?
- Would you share a favorite memory from your career?
- What advice would you have for someone looking to enter this industry?
- What’s something you wish you knew about truck driving when you started?
Asking questions like these will help elicit stronger responses and make for much a much better end product.
Ask the Driver to Rephrase the Question in the Answer
When you’re conducting a video testimonial, you need to keep the end product in mind. Specifically, the driver’s answers need to stand on their own as video clips.
The easiest way to make sure a response will stand on its own is to ask drivers to rephrase the question in their answer.
For example, if you ask someone in an interview “What’s your favorite color” and they answer “red”, their answer won’t make sense on its own. Instead, you want them to say, “My favorite color is red.”
Similarly, if you ask a driver, “What’s your favorite part of driving for Wayfind Transportation?” you want them to respond, “My favorite part of driving for Wayfind Transportation is how I’m treated. They put driver safety and well-being ahead of profits.”
Make sure you explain this at the beginning of the interview to avoid any confusion.
Utilize a Prior Answer in a Future Question
When you naturally weave-in references to a driver’s past answers, you’ll evok better responses from your drivers.
For example, if you know a driver has been with a company for 15 years, work that into a future question – “Jason, in your 15 years driving for Wayfind Transportation, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?”
This accomplishes two things:
- You show the driver you are listening and you care about the testimonial
- The driver will open-up more and give better answers because they know you’re listening
This simple technique is guaranteed to get you better video testimonials on a consistent basis.
Be Respectful, Authoritative, And Know What You Want
Like we said before, it’s likely that both you and the driver are nervous. The problem is that the driver will feed-off your energy.
If you want better video testimonials, you need to show drivers that their time is valuable. Give them a confidence booster by making it clear they have something important to say. There are a few ways to accomplish this:
- Body language – show you’re listening and engaged by positioning yourself towards them.
- Make eye contact – while the driver is speaking, look at them and make eye contact. Don’t look at your notepad. Demonstrate that you’re interested.
- Be courteous – thank them for their valuable time and let them know you’re excited to hear what they have to say. Make it clear that their responses are important.
Simultaneously, you need to be authoritative. Remember that the driver will feed off your energy. If you are shy, act nervous, or mumble, the driver will do the same. Instead, show that you’re confident. Show that there’s nothing to be nervous about. It will rub-off on the driver and their responses will be more confident and well-spoken.
Finally, you need to know what you want. Don’t get off-track and ask too many questions that aren’t pertinent. If you get side-tracked, the driver will start to wonder how prepared you really are. It comes off as unprofessional.
Be direct, to the point, and wise with how you spend your time in the interview.
Finish the Interview with “Is There Anything You’d Like to Add?”
In our ten years of doing interviews with CEOs, managers, drivers, and countless others, this question has always evoked the strongest responses.
It seems small, but it’s actually a powerful question for a number of reasons:
- The person is warmed-up and primed for high-quality answers by this time
- People will say what they said before but more succinctly, directly, and articulately
- You may get a golden nugget that never came out during the interview
This one, simple question can give you the best soundbite of the whole interview.
Make Every Video Testimonial Gold
A driver video testimonial can be a powerful tool for recruiting and retention – but only when done right.
Many people struggle to ask the right questions, evoke the right responses, and make drivers feel comfortable. Luckily, though, it’s not a matter of “you got it or you don’t.”
Interviewing people is a skill. That means if you follow the steps we laid out here, you’ll be able to come away from every interview with gold.
Not sure where to start with interviewing questions? Check out Trade Response today to learn about how you can send pre-scripted, pre-recorded questions to your drivers for remote video testimonials.
And here’s one bonus tip – practice, practice, practice. If you want to improve at anything, you need to practice. Take the time to prepare and ask your questions out loud before interviewing anyone. You’ll see the difference, guaranteed.