The Formal Interview
Red_Line1256.gif (286 bytes)

  • Record formal interviews for self-protection. This is a safety mechanism to fight back against unfair journalism and inaccurate reporting. In addition, listen to the recording afterwards to improve your interviewing skills.


  • Know the reporter's story needs. Make sure that you have obtained in advance the parameters of the interview.
  • Prepare three or four points you want to make, including effective company "tie-ins" to the interview topic. State them at the beginning of the interview.
  • Practice short, catchy sentences involving your main points that the writer could pick up easily as quotes for the story.
  • Anticipate difficult questions. Make your answer a positive statement, rather than a response to what might be a negative tone of the question.
  • Speak to the target audience of the publication.


  • Use Sound Bites. Make your point immediately and concisely. You probably won't have time to build a lengthy argument that concludes with your point.
  • Don't be a Slave to a Question. Think about the question and analyze its significance. Then build a bridge to your agenda by using such phrases as "Let me put that into perspective" or "Let me put that into a different context."
  • Listen Carefully. Don't be afraid to ask the interviewer for clarification, if you don't understand the question. Ask your own question, such as "Do you mean... or … ?"
  • Silence is OK. Give your answer and then stop talking. Don't be intimidated by silence into saying more than you should. Use silence to collect your thoughts and compose yourself.


Take Charge
  • Be assertive.
  • Support your statement.
  • Be colorful.
  • Avoid being stiff.

Blue_Arrow4370.gif (140 bytes) Home