A SHORT LIST OF INTERVIEW DOs AND DON'Ts
Have an agenda. The interview is your chance to express your messages.
Use facts, figures and anecdotes to make messages credible.
Use illustrations to tell your story in a way that’s more relatable than numbers.
"More attendees than at the Superbowl" is better than "85,000 people.”
Anticipate the range of questions you may get, and practice your answers.
Be yourself. Reinventing yourself for an interview sinks your credibility. Be
engaging, likable, enthusiastic — but not manic.
Use simple terms. Avoid jargon, acronyms and technical language.
"Flag" key points with phrases like "The most important thing is ..." or "The bottom
line is ..."
Repeat a negative question as you answer. Questions rarely appear in the final
story, only answers – but if you repeat a bad one, you air the charge.
Over-answer. When you've delivered your message and backed it up, stop.
Be afraid to pause. A few seconds to think feels much longer to you than to your
listener(s) and provides valuable thinking time.
Lose your cool.
Imagine the reporter knows everything about your topic. You’re the expert.
Guess. If appropriate, assure the reporter you will provide the needed facts in a
timely manner, or refer him/her to another source.
Say something in an "off the record" discussion you wouldn’t want reported.