This may sound goofy, but I dread being interviewed by the media.
I’ve been in public situations where my strengths and weaknesses are on display and I’m at peace with the fact that I’m an administrative and policy wonk at heart. I am at my best when serving as an advisor, preparing someone for an interview, discussing talking points, roleplaying Q&A and calming their nerves. I’m not in my element when being asked the questions.
While training a group on a campus I was asked how I prepare for an interview. Actually, it’s exactly how I recommend everyone else prepare.
First, I try to push my jitters aside and focus on doing my job, which includes representing my organization and myself to the best of my abilities.
Next, I review the interview preparation I had drilled into my head years ago and now I stress with those I train:
- Know the reporter’s deadline. Return media calls promptly.
- Understand the reporter’s story. Ask your media colleagues for background or insights.
- Craft two or three key points and stick with them.
- Anticipate the questions, both those you expect and dread.
- Debrief the interview and the story to learn from your experience.
Surprisingly, walking myself through these steps usually gets me in the right mindset and further reduces my jitters.
What works for you before an interview?