Tags - interview

Planning for an interview may sound self-defeating. After all, isn’t conversation about the unexpected? Still preparation isn’t just possible, it’s essential. First off, get information about who is coming to talk to you and what he or she probably wants to find out. Most importantly, however, decide what you are going to tell the other person, and in what order. Picture an interview as if it were a tour of your company.

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Key messages are essential for your success in an interview. This is especially true if you find yourself cornered by the journalist or, for that matter, if you have strayed from your subject. First of all, get yourself some breathing space by saying something like: “A very good point” or “That is an important issue.” Though these lines can sound patronizing, they are permissible when you come under pressure. Next, provide an appropriate key message and, if necessary, something topical. In some cases, however, the key message alone will create the perception that you have answered the question, and that’s all that matters. Other times, the journalist may confront you with a misperception. In that case, stop him politely but firmly. Say something like “Not at all. What is true…” and so on followed by a key message.

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An interviewer’s questions can sometimes put us off. It may be that we simply find the journalist obnoxious or perhaps a little aggressive. Perhaps he speaks with some sort of sneer, making you feel he is trying to make you look silly. It’s understandable if this sort of situation makes us feel upset or even angry. In an extreme, we might even be tempted to storm out of an interview. While you have the right to do that, it’s really your most extreme option. Better to seek ways to get the interview back on track, and that’s something your key messages can help you achieve.

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