An interview is the one of the best opportunities to present yourself (and your business) in the greatest light possible. The key to staying relaxed and engaged is preparation. Whether it’s honing your message or learning how to stay calm, poised and comfortable in the interview itself, all the work in advance will pay off the moment the interview begins. Here are some of my favorite tips to make sure you shine.
- Identify key messages. Do you have an “elevator pitch” about your business (a two sentence explanation about what you do)? What do you love about your work? How does it serve your clients? How did you get started? Think about the nature of the interview and identify and practice your answers IN ADVANCE.
- Keep it short. Most media outlets are looking for sound bites, so make sure your ideas and responses are clear and succinct.
- Breathe. When you are nervous, the body tends to tighten. The constriction of your muscles cut you off from your creative flow, your breath, and your ability to enjoy the actual interview. Take a moment to scan your body for tension and then RELEASE it with a series of deep breaths. When you are calm, you are open and present.
- Smile. If you look like you’re happy to be there, people will be happy to watch (or listen) to you.
- Be the Captain. This is YOUR moment in the limelight. Once you have prepared what you want to say, try and weave your rehearsed content into your responses. At any given point, you have the ability to steer the conversation in the direction that you choose.
Now, these are just a few of the nuggets I share with my clients. If you’re interested in hearing what author, blogger and marketing dynamo, Seth Godin has to say on the topic, I have included his latest blog post on the subject. Trust me, the media is waiting to find you. Be ready for them!
The explosion of media channels and public events means that more people are being interviewed about more topics than ever before. It might even happen to you… and soon.
- They call it giving an interview, not taking one, and for good reason. If you’re not eager to share your perspective, don’t bother showing up.
- Questions shouldn’t be taken literally. The purpose of the question is to give you a chance to talk about something you care about. The audience wants to hear what you have to say, and if the question isn’t right on point, answer a different one instead.
- In all but the most formal media settings, it’s totally appropriate to talk with the interviewer in advance, to give her some clues about what you’re interested in discussing. It makes you both look good.
- The interviewer is not your friend, and everything you say is on the record. If you don’t want it to be in print, don’t say it.
- If you get asked the same question from interview to interview, there’s probably a good reason. Saying, “I get asked that question all the time,” and then grimacing in pain is disrespectful to the interviewer and the audience. See rule 1. If your answers aren’t interesting, exciting or engaging, that’s your fault, not the interviewer’s. See rule 2.
P.S. You can also grab my FREE eBook on making great first impressions! It’s a valuable resource sure to increase your interviewing skills. Check it out here!
P.S. Want MORE career success tips? Be sure to subscribe to this blog, and follow me on Twitter!