Congratulations! You secured an interview with a media outlet, but how do you prepare? Here are six tips to get interview ready.
1. Know your key messages.
What do you want to communicate in this interview? Prepare and study talking points in advance with your key messages. This will help you stay on track and communicate your message clearly and concisely.
2. Stay on message.
It is possible you will get asked a question during the interview on a topic you don’t know or didn’t anticipate. If that happens, use bridging statements to steer the conversation back to your prepared talking points.
“While I can’t speak on that, I would like to talk about _____ instead….”
“That’s a great question, and I want our viewers to know that.…”
This keeps the conversation in your area of expertise and helps you stay on message.
3. Speak in simple terms.
While you may be an expert in your field, the general audience isn’t. Keep things simple and avoid industry jargon and overcomplicated answers as much as possible.
What you wear to an interview matters, especially for on-camera interviews. You want people to remember what you said, not what you wear. Wear darker, solid colors, and avoid heavy patterns or sheer materials. If you have glasses be mindful that they can create glares due to lighting. Flashy jewelry and nametags can also be distracting, so remove them before getting on camera.
Researching the media outlet before the interview is a vital step you don’t want to miss. Start with the outlet’s audience. If your key audience is parents of young children, make sure the audience watches or reads the outlet you’re interviewing with. Don’t forget to research the journalist conducting the interview, too. Watch previous interviews they conducted, if available, to get a sense of their interview style.
6. Avoid Hot Mic & Off-the-Record Moments
Everything you say may be used, even if what you said was “off-the-record” or you thought the mic was off. If you don’t want it published, don’t say it. You never know who is listening and can’t guarantee everything will remain private.