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Preparing for an Interview? Do your Homework!

One of my favorite activities is conducting media training. And inevitably I have someone attend who thinks they don’t need to be there and can “wing” their next interview.
Should that be you, I encourage you to watch an interview on The Daily Show from last month. Aasif Mandvi interviewed Todd Wilemon, a Fox News guest contributor, and provided a gem for those of us in the industry. I have a new go-to video for “what not to do.”

The Daily Show
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Below are three quick tips that are essential for every interview, especially as you draft your talking points and rehearse your delivery:

  • Begin your background work by considering the outlet. It was masterful the way in which Mr. Mandvi asked his questions– but not wholly unexpected. If you’ve watched The Daily Show before you know that it’s coming. If you are on the receiving end, you have to expect it.
  • Prepare for the questions you know you are going to be asked. These are the obvious one that all reporters, regardless of outlet, are going to ask. They set the stage and provide context for the issue.
  • Prepare for the questions you dread. If you know you have a vulnerability or can be trapped, then you better be prepared to move to safe ground or share information that clarifies the situation.

I’d love for you to share your favorite interviews below. After all, I need some midweek humor!