look at how to handle the interview once you're behind the microphone.
- One of the best things you can do before the interview is to listen or watch the program two or three times to get a feel for how the interviews are handled, and the kind of questions they ask. Is the host genial or combative?
- It's important to go into an interview knowing you need to control the flow or direction of the content. You can't always control what questions they are going to ask, but if their question is taking you away from your agenda, you can answer their question, but then add on additional facts or simply lead the host in the direction you want to go.
- Always repeat your main points at least twice. Audience members are often distracted or don't hear the entire interview, so you want to be sure they catch those points. Include interesting anecdotes, rather than a lot of statistics. Avoid any jargon related to your topic.
- If asked a question you can't answer—or don't want to—be honest and tell them you don't know or explain why you won't. Using a response like “no comment” makes it look like you have something to hide.
- On radio, all the audience has to judge you by—besides your content—is your tone of voice. Work at making your voice more dramatic and avoid the monotone. If you're being interviewed in a studio, it is often difficult to maintain eye contact with the host, so think of the microphone as a good friend—and speak directly to the friend.
- On television, your voice is not as important as your demeanor and body language. Maintain a polite response, even in an antagonistic atmosphere. Don't be afraid to laugh if it's appropriate. Stay in eye contact with the host. Always assume that you are on camera, and act accordingly.
- Be aware of time when you reach the end of the interview. Often there will be a clock that indicates how much time is remaining, so you will want to keep your final answers brief, or at a length appropriate to the remaining time. The host will likely want to close with a few words to wrap up the session.
- When the interview is concluded, and they break for a commercial or the credits start rolling, turn to your host and keep talking, in case the camera is still on you for a few moments.