How to Give a Successful Media Interview


Being interviewed by the media can be a nerve-wracking business. Prepare well and learn how to respond to difficult questions to ensure that your interview presents you and your organization in a professional and favorable light.

Preparing for a Radio or TV Interview

Broadcast interviews often cause more anxiety than press interviews, but generally there is no need for the extra fear that they tend to generate. Unless an interview is being broadcast live, you do not need to worry too much because it is usually possible to have a question re-asked and re-recorded so that you can offer a more succinct, or a more comprehensive, answer. On most occasions, the interviewer wants to show you at your best, so it is in their interest to relax you and to help you give good answers. Only if you are the villain of the piece will you be given a hard time. Run through likely questions with a colleague in preparation for an interview and to help build confidence.

Successful Media Interviews

Handling Difficult Questions

Interviewers generally ask questions designed to get interviewees to respond in an interesting, illuminating, lively, animated, or entertaining way. Rigorous or aggressive questioning may be encountered when your organization has done something unacceptable. Decide in advance what you are willing to say and what you will not reveal. Consider how you will handle difficult questions and practise your answers. When posed a tricky question, never say “No comment”. This indicates that you have something to hide. Avoid sounding evasive. Concentrate on getting your points across, if necessary by re-interpreting the interviewer’s questions. If asked how you feel about making employees redundant, focus on the positive, such as the help you are offering staff in securing new jobs. Stress, for example, that all employees will receive paid time off to attend job interviews, as well as free out-placement advice.

Recognizing a Good Spokesperson

Most organizations have at least one official spokesperson. Make sure that anyone who will be speaking on your company’s behalf has the requisite skills and the appropriate personality to do a good job.

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Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment

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About the Author: Cody Riffel is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo. She likes to write on variety of topics, whatever interests her. She also likes to share what she learns over the Internet and her day-to-day life.

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