PREPARING FOR AN INTERVIEW, 2
As we last discussed, knowing the format of the interview is important when knowing how to prepare. There are other factors that are important to discover as well.
KNOW THE INTERVIEWER
Based on the type of interview your involved in, your interviewer will have a different level of interest and preparation. The preparation will extend to the types of questions they’ll ask, the answers they’ll expect, how much they will grill you and the motivations behind the questions. Consider who the interviewer is working for. Smaller local newspapers, magazines or blogs might be free to let you control the interview, whereas regional or national publications might push you a lot more to their agenda or story line. TV and Radio interviewers will usually only have basic preparation and just be looking for good soundbites, unless it’s an in depth, one on one interview with the top TV anchor in the state. Make sure that if it’s a longer interview with a reporter, that you review his previous stories. Consider the beat he works, the angle he takes, if it's politically leaning any way. Sometimes for one on one interviews you can go over and approve specific topics on the table.
KNOW THE AUDIENCE
What could be more important than know the interviewer is knowing the audience. This involves both knowing what’s being said about you, what stories are out there and also the audience of the outlet that is interviewing you. Journalists have a wide array of research tools at their disposal. True some reporters could be lazy and might only search Twitter or Google but other’s could go more in depth. It’s critical that you say ahead of any negative stories that are out there or any critics. This will help you avoid uncomfortable moments answering questions because you could already have an answer prepared. On top of knowing the stories or topics being discussed concerning you, it’s important you know the audience of the outlet interviewing you. By reading the stories or viewing/listening to the program available, can you get an idea of the political affiliations or the causes that audience cares about. This is particularly important to blogs and smaller papers. You can gain favor by discussing and having favorable views on the issues that are important to that particular community. These tips will help you prepare for the types of questions and the type of interview that you can expect. In today’s media age, there’s a ton of different interviews you can expect to give. In another blog we will discuss preparing your message and different ways to stay on message even when a report throws you a curveball.