Being interviewed is nerve-wracking. Over the past seven years, I’ve been interviewed many times about my books and charity, Girls Love Mail. Though some went well, others left me wondering what I had just said. To help, I turned to a media expert and learned a few useful tools I’d like to pass along. Basically, here are 5 Interview Tips you need to know.
- Three Main Points: Before your interview, come up with the three most important pieces of information you want to convey. It can be anything from your website address, event details, and/or basic info about your business or books. Write the three main points down. Memorize them. These will be your answers – no matter the question. This leads to #2…
- You Don’t Have to Answer the Question: This sounds strange, but what I mean is you don’t have to answer the question you’re asked. Your goal is to convey your three main points. No matter what you’re asked, give the answer you want to give. For example, let’s say a main point is to let listeners know about your book event on Friday. The interviewer asks, “So, why should readers buy your book?” Answer? “Readers can find out all about my novel and why it’s perfect for them at my event on Friday.” Notice I didn’t really answer the question. This goes for any question. (To hear this in action, listen to most politicians!)
- Silence is Okay: We’ve all heard the interviewee who can’t stop saying “um” and “like.” The interviewee sound really nervous. Pausing can feel long and uncomfortable, but the pauses always feel longer to you than the listener. To get rid of the “ums,” practice with a friend who agrees to ring a bell or tap their finger every time you say filler words (um, like, uh, etc). You’ll be surprised how unaware we all are of this tick. Keep practicing until you can simply pause without talking instead of using a filler word.
- Know Your Audience: Or at least who you’re trying to reach. The message might change by the audience type. If so, you’ll want three main points (#1) for each audience. Always remember that a good interview is really about the audience, not you.
- Practice: I can’t say this enough. We all think we know our topic. I wrote the book so what more do I need?! I’ve found that I need to practice before every interview. It gets easier, but the times when I was overconfident and didn’t review my notes are the ones that got away from me. You know the old adage about practice.
Best of luck with your next interview!