What Common Mistakes Do People Make When They’re Interviewed?
On occasion it’s easier to understand what people are doing wrong by taking a look at what doing it right looks like. Here are nine great tips when doing media interviews.
1. Don't Rush Your Answer
To give yourself better presence, never rush into an answer or through your answer. Take your time. There are no gold stars for answering a question quickly and in fact it can be a negative because the reporter and their editor want a nice clean edit point. They can't get that if you jump on the end of the reporter's question. In addition, most people being interviewed need to slow down when they speak.
2. Answer With Statements
Be careful not to start every answer with words like “Yeah”,"Yes", "No" and "Absolutely". Work on eliminating those words and start your answer without a clear response to the question. It makes your answer stronger and the media appreciates you making a full statement. Rather than saying "Yes that's correct, we believe this is the most important...." try saying "We believe this is the most important...." Being less conversational can make your statement much stronger.
3. Don't Use the Reporter's Name
Never use the reporter's name in recorded interviews because the media outlet may have a different use for the interview. It's acceptable in live interviews, but even then you need to be careful.
4. Make Eye Contact
When doing a TV interview, look at the reporter as you speak and also as they ask you questions. It shows more confidence and people feel that if you can look a reporter in the eye and make a statement you must be telling the truth. Never look at the camera during an interview, if there’s a reporter next to you, because it looks creepy.
5. Use Your Hands
During the interview use your hands to help communicate. Hands can be great communication tools and also help to open up your body as you speak because it means you have nothing to hide.
6. Know What You'll Say
You should always know what you are going to say in an interview BEFORE you say it. This can make your answers much stronger and you will have fewer stumbles. It's much easier if you have practiced before.
7. Talk About What You Want To Talk About
Don't feel that you have to be on the defensive if reporters are aggressive. Remember that they wanted to speak to you, so give the answers you want, effectively talking about what you want to talk about, as long as you answer their questions.
8. Stay on Message
Once you have decided what you plan to say and say it during the interview there's no need to say more. It's really easy to say too much, resulting in the media using something you didn't want used. Also, keep your cool. You never want to lose control of your emotions during an interview.
9. Drop a Great Sound Bite
Think about a short statement you can make that effectively sums up what you want to say in a clear and colourful way. Chances are this will be the clip that the media uses on radio and TV and the quote that will make its way into the newspaper.