Media interviews can be very exciting and very helpful to your career. However, media interviews are only helpful if they are done right. A media interview may look easy on screen, but there is quite a lot of work that is needed to make these interviews flawless. Once you have secured an interview, hard work and extensive preparation are needed to ensure that yourself or your client is ready for the big day. It is very common to freeze up the moment the camera is on you, but it can certainly be avoided with the right preparation tactics.
Here are a few tips to better assist you in your preparation for a successful media interview:
Tip #1 – Do your research
Before the interview, make sure you are conducting research on the publication. Watch past interviews and try to get a feel for the style of the publication and what type of content they produce. This can help you when formulating your answers to questions. It is also a good idea to do research on the interviewer to understand their particular interview style and anticipate the types of questions you or your client will be asked and be prepared to answer them.
Tip #2 – Decide what is most important for you to say
Post interview, it is not uncommon to remember certain things you wanted to say but didn’t get a chance to bring up during the interview. To avoid this, you should make a list of the topics that you think are the most important for you to talk about in the interview. Practice bringing up those topics and how you would like to incorporate them through talking points. Even if it does not go exactly how you planned, just practicing them will make you more likely to remember to bring them up. It is also good to remember that you are the expert of the topic on hand—not the interviewer—therefore, if there is something you want to discuss, do your best to bring it up yourself.
Tip #3 – Prepare for the worst
If there is a question you would not want to be asked, be ready to answer that question anyway. Even if you think that topic will not be brought up, have your response ready—it is always better to be prepared than be put on the spot about something you don’t want to discuss and not have the appropriate answer.
Tip #4 – Speak clearly
This is one of the most important parts of a successful media interview. How you present yourself matters. You need to make sure that you are understood by speaking clearly and not too quickly. Always avoid using “like” and “um,” because these words make it sound like you are ill-prepared. In the coming days before the interview, practice your responses out loud—this will help you determine where to pause and the pace you need to speak at.
Tip #5 – Make sure you know your basic facts
You do not want to get caught not knowing the answer to a question about your company or project you have worked on. Be prepared for any question regarding past work; you never know when the interviewer may bring up something unrelated to the topic of the interview.
Media interviews provide the unique opportunity to share you or your client’s expertise while creating awareness for the company at hand. Before getting in front of the camera, make sure you follow some of the shared tips above to ensure that everyone is properly prepared for the interview.