Interview Tips Do the Right Thing by ryandenney


									               Interview Tips: Do the Right Thing

1. Be prepared. Do your homework. Anticipate the toughest questions and
   be ready to respond. First and foremost: Know your key messages
   regarding the issue.

2. Be direct. When a reporter asks a direct question, he or she is entitled to
   a concise, direct answer. Then either “bridge” back to your key message,
   or stop talking.

3. Use plain language. Avoid jargon and acronyms, awkward words and
   passive phrasing that you would never use in your “real life” style of
   speaking. Instead, tell the story more as you would express yourself to a
   friend or colleague over a cup of coffee.

4. Speak in terms of public interest. For example: the fact that budget
   problems mean eliminating positions and increasing workloads isn’t the
   public’s first priority. The public is most interested in knowing that the lines
   at the public counter will be longer, or it will take patience to get response
   to a telephone call, etc. Demonstrate that your business is serving
   customers or the public – not protecting jobs.

5. Be personal. Don’t be afraid to let your passion for your work come

6. Get in your say. This is your interview to. You planned a relevant,
   effective key message or set of talking points – don’t forget to make sure
   you get them on the record. Don’t hesitate to take notes to an interview,
   and don’t be shy about asking to go back and improve on an answer. This
   is a production, and the reporter wants you to be as smooth and clear as

7. Relax and enjoy it. You will come across as confident and likeable,
   rather than guarded and perhaps even untrustworthy. Succeeding at this
   can be very satisfying.

                         Marty Boyer, Communication Advantage
            Interview Tips: Avoid the Wrong Thing

1. Don’t go off the record. There is no such thing as “off the record” – only
   varying definitions of the term. If you don’t want to see it in print or
   broadcast, don’t say it.

2. Don’t speculate; avoid hypothetical questions. You may choose to
   raise a case study hypothesis to illustrate a process or your preparedness,
   but don’t be lured into speculating about the outcome of a situation which
   has not occurred.

3. Avoid “never” and “always.” Absolutes usually come back to haunt you.

4. Don’t exaggerate. Be believable. The story is probably bad enough or
   good enough without stretching the facts.

5. Don’t lose your cool. You may win the battle, but you may lose the war.

6. Never say “no comment.” At the very least, you can explain why you
   cannot respond to the question. Or, you can “bridge” back to your key
   message. Sometimes, simply explaining your goals regarding an issue is
   sometimes an effective way to respond without commenting on sensitive

7. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” Then offer to find out. Be sure to
   ask their deadlines. Don’t bluff. It often results in looking foolish.

8. Don’t fill in silences. Silences are natural in the process. If you must
   speak, go back to your prepared messages.

9. Never lie to the press.

                        Marty Boyer, Communication Advantage

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