So, you’ve scored your first interview with a reporter. Woohoo! I know that feeling. It’s exhilarating the first minute; the next is filled with panic. Don’t worry. It’s time to get serious and start preparing.
- Do your homework. Check out the reporter. What beat do they cover? What’s their style? What companies have they covered in your industry?
- Nail down the key messages you want to get across. Put together your talking points. What are your three main points and supporting facts?
- Consider all questions you may be asked. What’s the worst-case scenario question? Make sure to do a mock interview with a teammate to help you get comfortable.
- Stand up during the interview. It sounds odd, and people walking by might chuckle, but it helps you get focused. You’re less likely to go off on a tangent in this power stance.
- Nix distractions. Shut down your computer and turn off your phone. The less distractions, the easier it is to deliver a clear, concise message. Speaking of phones, use a landline instead of your cell phone if possible.
- Don’t market yourself through the interview. Journalists despise this, and being overly promotional may ruin your chances of getting interview No. 2.
- If you don’t know the answer, don’t guess. Be frank and tell the reporter you’ll get back to them with the information.
- Remember, there is no such thing as “off the record.” End of story.
- Post-interview, feel free to thank the journalist via email. But don’t send them gifts. They’re not allowed to accept them, and they’ll just wind up in a closet somewhere.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be prepared for a knock-out interview. Go get ‘em!