General Interview Tips

General Tips

  • Make sure you get across your communications message and three talking points.  Use one or two-liners that people will remember.  End with a brief recap.
  • Inform, motivate, and activate audience. Make your issue newsworthy and important.
  • Think of ways to humanize your issue. Develop anecdotes.
  • Give briefing materials to the interviewer, days before if possible.
  • Be honest, positive, to the point. Keep your answers short.
  • Use language that is natural.  Avoid jargon and acronyms.
  • Don’t hesitate to say “I don’t know; I’ll get back to you.” Then get back to them in a timely manner.
  • Be human.  Don’t be afraid to show emotion, but never lose your temper.
  • Never go off the record, unless you know and trust the reporter [and even then it’s not a good idea].
  • Never give a “no comment” response.  Turn the question into a comment.
  • Don’t repeat other’s terminology or their facts or figures; use your own data.
  • Answer only one question at a time. If there are multiple questions, answer the one you want to address  . . .  then bridge to your key points.
  • If the questions do not allow you to project your communications message, use the questions that are asked to bridge to your talking points.
  • Take a second to think about your answer. Rapid responses appear rehearsed. The extra time will also help you to develop a more strategic response.
  • Clarify any points that you think may have been misunderstood.

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