What are the three secrets of giving a great interview?
Reporters often feel exhausted after an hour-long interview. You may wonder what can cause them to feel so tired, but the effort of extracting the information they need can cause them to become cranky and sometimes, downright unhelpful. Communication does not come naturally do many experts, who might be dealing with public relations and marketing on a regular basis. It is true for a lot of professionals from different fields of life. If your work is essential in one way or another, it is your responsibility to put it “out there” for the reporter to understand.
Giving a great interview is an art. Irrespective of your field of work, your geographic location, and your interview skills, you should be able to engage your audience with clear communication. Once a reporter contacts you from outside Los Angeles, it is your responsibility to call or message them back instantly. Do not leave them hanging. Most importantly, plan a face-to-face interview. Long-distance calls impede communication. Additionally, planning a face-to-face meeting in the city can give you a few days in hand to prepare your story. Check out the Media Works Resource Group advice for the latest tips and tricks to improve your interview.
1. Always have your version ready
No matter how friendly the reporter sounds or how knowledgeable he/she sounds over the phone, always work on your interview material. That will help you as well as the reporter. Make a list of the points you would like to talk about. For example –
- Why is your work important?
- What impact does it have on society and the environment?
- What market profit did you see in the last quarter?
- Do you have plans of getting more investors on board?
- Do you plan on expanding anytime soon?
It is a mandatory exercise you need to complete days before the actual date of the interview. Preparing answers to a few of the ubiquitous interview questions will not only save you time on the day, but it will also give the reporter more time to navigate into other aspects of your business and brand.
2. Learn about the reporter
In the age of social media, finding information on a journalist is not difficult. Go on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn to become familiar with the professional who is about to take your interview. Knowing about his experience and area of expertise will help you make the brief in advance. It will also alert you to his area of expertise. You will always know exactly how much to elaborate depending on the field of knowledge of the reporter.
3. Find out about the context
What will be the focal point of the piece? Where will the authorities publish it? Has the medium published similar interviews of your competitors before? That might give you an idea of how much to include in the content and exactly what details to add as well. Learning about the type of medium the reporter works for will help you prepare better for the day. Most importantly, do not forget to ask for the interview questions in advance, although chances of not getting them are significantly high.
An excellent media training company shows you how to take the lead in a conversation. Whether it is staying on top of the trending topics or sharing an interesting piece of information while speaking about your most recent feat, experienced media training professional will help you stay in charge of your media tête-à-tête the whole time.
Several reporters often ask if they have covered everything at the end of an interview. That is your chance to reinforce your key points and add something more to what you have already said. If you have covered everything, it is entirely alright to say so and not delve into repetitive details. It is also time for you to find out exactly how the interview went and when you can see it.
Once the conversation is over, do not forget to debrief your spokesperson or go over the matter, in case you were the main representative present. In the case of team press meets, coordination is essential in each of the aspects we have mentioned above. Perfecting everyone’s account and speaking in the same line takes practice. If you do not have weeks, you must consider working with a media training expert, who can bring everyone’s dialog in line.
Having a media training company to help you out during the preparation days can make all the difference. Professional media experts can weigh the importance of such interviews and evaluate the questions to help you perform outstandingly on the given day. Public speaking and media presence can change the future of your business. It is time you gave popular media their due importance.