Secret Interview Tactics of Journalists
You've done the work, and now a reporter wants to talk to you. You probably think the interview is the easiest part of the process. But you'd be wrong.
Reporters need to get a story, and often they won't stop if they think they are on to something big. That's why you need to brush up on your interview skills, before your faced with the big day.
Here are some of the secrets journalists use to get you to talk more, and how you can make the most of your interview time.
1. From the get-go, take the lead. When a reporter calls you to be interviewed, don't be afraid to ask questions before you get started. Who do you represent? What's the focus or slant of the story? Are you interviewing anyone else? What's your deadline? These questions will give you information to prepare.
2. Allow yourself some time to think. No reporter actually thinks a person just stop what they are doing to be interviewed. But often, the interviewee thinks that's the case - and when he or she does, the reporter can get some off the cuff?answers that look and sound juicy but may put the interviewee in a bad light. Arrange a mutually convenient time to get back to the reporter, just to get all your ducks in a row.
3. Silence is golden. Silence is a tactic reporters use to get you to keep talking. And that often means saying things you may not really want to say. When you're done answering the question, stop. Allow for the silence and if the reporter wants more information, he or she will ask for it.
4. Holding a mirror. Some journalists will use a technique called mirroring, which can help an interviewee feel comfortable. But getting too comfortable may allow you to blurt out something you normally wouldn't say. If you are finding a reporter mimicking you in verbally and nonverbally, you may want to take your time answering or changing your position.
5. Throw away questions. Many reporters have what's called 'throw away questions?that they ask that really mean nothing to the story. These can be used to feel an interviewee out.
6. Pretending to know. Some journalists will ask question that make you think they know more than they really do. If the reporter has made a false assumption, speak up. If not, don't help the journalist confirm it unless you've made a conscious choice to do so.
Shannon Cherry, APR, MA helps businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations to be heard. Subscribe today for Be Heard! a FREE biweekly ezine and get a FREE special report. Go to: www.cherrycommunications.com/FreeReport.htm
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