So, big interview coming up and you’re nervous. These techniques will calm you down and provide more control:
- Don’t Wing It – “Do” Preparation Work. Go into the interview with some basic knowledge about the reporter and the media organization. Do a pre-interview with the reporter – asking them what they plan to cover. That gives you the necessary tools for research and you’ll avoid potential surprises.
- Don’t Perform. Focus on having a casual conversation with the reporter. Don’t over-think the process. Keep your volume and pacing at the same levels that you use in normal conversation.
- Don’t Say Too Much. During preparation think about usable sound-bites or quotes. Then, once in the interview use that language and avoid saying too much. Listen carefully to the questions, answer thoroughly, but don’t keep talking because that can get you into trouble. Also, reporters like short and concise comments for editing purposes.
- Avoid “No Comment.” That implies you’re evading the question. Instead say, “At this point, our company won’t release any other statements. If we have any additional information, we’ll contact you.” That says the same thing but in a nicer way.
- Don’t Befriend Reporter. A reporter’s job is to get the story. They don’t want to be your friend, they want a good story. So, avoid trying to be too buddy-buddy with them because it won’t get you anywhere. Also, reporters can smell insincerity a mile away and that can impact how they treat you as an interview.