GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Re: The Interview with Stephen Mitchell

The Interview

I was recently interviewed by Stephen Mitchell, a friend and associate to whom I was introduced about four years ago. The interview was conducted in a TV studio in Sherman Oaks, California. The resulting program and DVD will be used as a promotion piece for me and my projects (one of which is a new book I am writing) and also to promote Business on-demand, a business news channel conceived by Stephen in which I will play a part.

I am convinced that the production will be a valuable product which will enhance my career--not because of what I said or how I performed. It will be due to the professional approach utilized by Stephen in guiding the proceedings.

The Process

His technique involves meeting with the interviewee a few minutes before the shooting is scheduled. He came to the meeting fully prepared with a plan, notes and questions--a virtual roadmap of where he was going. This was comforting for me and I’m thinking, “Well at least he knows what we are going to do.”

I did take note of the fact that he wasn’t very specific concerning precisely what questions would be presented. So I was comforted on the one hand but concerning the questions--well, I was a little on edge.

He quickly sent me into the studio area to sit-in while his assistant set up lights and worked out the sound in preparation for the interview. In other words he left me to “stew” over the possible questions for 15 minutes or so.

In retrospect, my reaction was interesting. During the 15 minute interlude I felt as if the chemicals in my brain were activated and my interest in what was going to occur was piqued and I actually began to focus before the interview. I was ready for the challenge of Stephen Mitchell.


The command, “Roll camera” came and he hit me with the first question--an easy opener and then another question. I responded with a rather long answer to question two opening up a myriad of pathways for Stephen to pursue. At this point I noticed that Stephen put his notes aside and he went full steam ahead--he was underway--guiding, directing and asking for amplification, explanation and more details. We talked for over an hour.

Post Interview Thoughts
I was amazed at how effortless and easy the interview turned out to be. We simply had a conversation--yet the interview was powerful. I wondered to myself, “How did he do it?” Now I know--he came prepared, he gave me time to get the adrenaline moving, he opened slowly and ultimately followed his instincts to highlight important points for me to discuss.

In my view the key to a quality interview lies with the interviewer--Stephen Mitchell is a Master at the interview game.

Richard Wilmot
Brigadier General
US Army Retired

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