Last week, I did an interview with Yvette Francino, the editor of the Search Software Quality area of the TechTarget web site and had a fun adventure! Now that our conversation is available online, I decided to talk about this experience. As usual, if you want the details you have to read on…

We are working on publicity for the “Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum” book and our publicist at Pearson graciously set up some interviews for us with Yvette. Elizabeth met with her live while she was at Agile 2010 and they did a video interview together. I got to the opportunity to do a phone interview with her.

We first communicated through email to set up a convenient date and time for the interview. Once we settled on a date, Yvette promised to send questions ahead of time to give me time to prepare for our discussion. She sent me her questions before the interview, as promised, so all I had left to do was to wait for the magical interview day to come.

I never did an interview like this before so when the night came of the interview came, I was a bit nervous (this is perfectly normal of course!). In one of our earlier emails, I gave Yvette my home phone number and assumed she would call me at the agreed upon time. Please remember that last statement, it will come back to haunt me a bit later in this story!

On the big night, before the interview, I went through the regular family bliss of picking up the kids, cooking supper, bath time, story time, bedtime… When I finished the usual routine, it was 7:30 pm and I was all psyched up for the 8:00 pm call. When 8:00 pm went by and I got no phone call, I started thinking… “Well, maybe something happened…” Five minutes later, still no call… Five more minutes later I started thinking this was not normal…

I opened her last message with the questions once again and to my great shock, I saw the conference call bridge number for me to dial-into for the interview. I take full responsibility for this mistake as I remember seeing the conference call information the first time I read her questions. I guess my nerves and the family craziness got the best of me at that moment!

After banging my head against the wall and then kicking myself a few times, I frantically tried to get a hold of Yvette by calling her office and sending an email to let her know I did not forget! Thankfully, she called me right back five minutes later and we did the interview. When we got on the conference call number, I apologized many times profusely for my mistake.

Yvette was professional and wonderful during the entire phone call. She made sure I understood how she would move the discussion along and how long of a clip she needed us to record for the interview… We spent around thirty minutes talking and spoke about various topics before and after the interview. As a backup, I recorded the interview on my side and sent her my recording to allow her to decide which recording had the best quality sound for their web site.

I enjoyed this experience, it was fun and I hope to do more in the future. This experience is also inspiring me to create my own regular podcast for my web site. Watch out podcast world, here I come! 🙂 What I found interesting was how dynamic our conversation became. We did not even go over all of her original questions because she fed off my answers to ask a different set of questions. I think that first list of questions is to provide a backup in case the interviewee does not talk much.

Thinking back on the interview, I realized later that I would answer some questions a bit differently, but for a first time, I think it went well. One thing I felt bad about was that I slightly messed up the quote from John Sutcliffe that launched the entire book project. I also forgot to mention the chapter quote we used for the Preface section was a subtle insider nod to John.

In case you come read this Yvette, thank you for the experience! I enjoyed myself and look forward to working with you again soon!

To listen to the podcast you can follow this link.