Interview Tips

  1. Always look the interviewer in the eye
  2. Good posture is the LAW. Never slump, tilt back in a chair or shift your weight around.
  3. Speak in short, clear, declarative sentences.
  4. If you don't know the answer, admit it!
  5. Always check your grooming (an uncentered tie will become a fixation for the viewer).
  6. "always talk with the reporter, casually, prior to beginning an interview. Discuss the issues — build rapport.
  7. Know what you want to say . . . and make sure it gets said.
  8. Do not go OFF THE RECORD at any time.
  9. Never say, "No Comment."
  10. Avoid Jargon
  12. Never say anything that you are not sure of.
  13. Answer using complete statements. TV news interviews edit out the questions unless it's live or a talk show format.
  14. It's okay not to have all the answers. You may want to suggest someone else who may have an answer for them or find out and get back to them.
  15. Speak from personal experience as much as possible.
  16. Be brief and to the point (TV quotes are an average of 8 seconds).
  17. Stay focused on your message. It's more important that you get out the important message you want than to answer the specific questions from the media.
  18. Create a media bite and repeat it.
  19. Unless it's live, it's okay to be repetitive or ask to restate something that you may have said wrong — they will edit the tape later (and usually try to use the clearest quotes).
  20. Use relevant facts and data where appropriate.
  21. Speak to the reporter, ignore the camera.
  22. Don't stare at the microphone as it moves toward you.
  23. Let the reporter hold the microphone.
  24. Don't stare at the ceiling, floor or walls when answering a question.
  25. Check for distracting body movements.
  26. Open your face and eyes and avoid squinting.Smile when appropriate.
  27. Avoid large prints, patterns, red and white clothing.
  28. Avoid flashy jewelry and accessories.
  29. Remove sunglasses and hats with wide brims.
  30. Speak up but don't shout on the phone.
  31. Stand up and move about the room if over the phone.
  32. Find out what he/she needs.
  Spokesperson Guidelines Index
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