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8 Questions to Ask Before & After Your Next Interview

8 Questions to Ask Before & After Your Next Interview

You’ve just landed an interview, and you’re excited about the prospect of spreading your message, getting more exposure and building your brand. You already know you’re an expert in your field. Now, you get to demonstrate that and get some recognition. Perhaps this is all part of your book publicity plan, or you’re seeking PR for entrepreneurs.

But are you fully prepared for your interview? Do you know what to expect, and are you going into it with confidence?

Here are 8 questions to ask before and after your next interview to maximize your success:

1. Have I familiarized myself with the outlet and journalist?

This one is really important, whether you got an interview on your own or worked with a public relations team like Guide My Brand.

Spend at least 15 minutes to better understand the outlet and the type of content they publish. This could mean listening to a full podcast episode or parts of a couple of episodes. Read through several articles written by the journalist who’s interviewing you.

Also, read the description of the podcast or the “About” page of the website to better understand their overall mission. Find the bio of the host or journalist.

All of this serves several purposes. One is to screen for any red flags. You’re making sure this opportunity fits you and your brand. You’re also learning what questions and answers have worked before, plus you’re getting familiar with the person interviewing you and their work. That preparation builds confidence and results in a more polished interview that better represents you and your work.

2. What is the topic?

Oftentimes you or your publicist are pitching multiple topics to multiple outlets. Do you have clarity around what this interview is about? Which of the topics are they most interested in?

If you’re unsure, ask. Then, you can review some of your talking points and refresh yourself before the interview.

3. How are we doing the interview?

Interviews are conducted in various ways, such as in-person, by Zoom or some other video conferencing website, by phone and by email. Some journalists will take the lead and let you know what’s best for them, while you may have to prompt others to keep the scheduling process moving.

4. What’s the format and length of the interview?

You should also understand if this is a 5-minute interview or a 30-minute interview. You’ll have to give more in-depth answers and examples, of course, with a longer interview, so that can be part of your preparation.

Also, find out any more information about the format. If it’s a written interview by email, you’ll want to ask if there are any guidelines on word count. If it’s a podcast, you can often listen to an episode to get a feel for the format. If it’s with a journalist, interviews are often condensed and a few quotes are selected, so you can say something better if you mess up. However, you wouldn’t do that if you understood the entire interview could be published as one clip.

Do your own due diligence based on the interviewer’s previous work and then ask for clarity where needed.

5. Should I do a mock interview to prepare?

Depending on your comfort level, a mock interview can be an important part of your preparation. The team at Guide My Brand helps clients with mock interviews whenever they ask for them. You may also have a friend or family member who could brainstorm some possible questions you’ll be asked and then practice with you. If you’ve already done a number of interviews and you’re very fresh and familiar with the topic, a mock interview may not be needed. But it’s important to realize it can always be a tool to boost confidence and improve performance.

6. Am I prepared to speak in a way that the target audience understands?

While you’re an expert in your field, it’s important to understand the knowledge level of the audience. If you’re speaking to a general audience, your answers may need to be more generic. If you’re doing a podcast interview with a skilled niche audience, then talk in a way that will make sense for them. Those answers may be more complex and specialized in order to provide the most value.

Just take a step back and think about the outlet’s audience and how best to communicate your message before doing each interview.

7. Do you need anything else?

Sometimes an outlet will want a link or some photos of your book if you’re a nonfiction author. The outlet may want some photos of you, or you may mention something interesting in the interview that the journalist wants more information about. After the interview, ask if the outlet needs anything else and then respond with that information quickly.

8. When will this be published?

Of course, you’ll want to see the finished product and share it with your network. After the interview, ask the journalist about the timeline so you can keep an eye out for the coverage.

Interviews can be daunting for people who are new to publicity, but they don’t have to be! Guide My Brand can provide guidance every step of the way. If you’re a nonfiction author or entrepreneur seeking publicity services, book a free discovery call today to see how we can help alleviate some of your stress.

Vicky Lynch
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