Tips for Interviews

Tips for TV Interviews

  • Look at the reporter, not the camera. Talk with the reporter as if you are having a one-on-one conversation.
  • Unless the interview is live, do not be ashamed to stop and start over if you lose your train of thought or stumble over your words.
  • Avoid wearing white or brightly patterned clothing.

Tips for Radio/Print Interviews

  • Use your talking points: If you are conducting a radio or newspaper interview over the phone in your office, have your talking points at hand. The information is right in front of you and no one is there to see you using it. Just be sure to not sound as if you are reading straight from the document.
  • Consider using pre-recorded audio clips called actualities to promote your Safe Routes to School program. Actualities are pre-recorded statements regarding the program that the media can access to use in conjunction with their stories. Work with your agency’s public information officer on how to develop actualities.
  • Do not conduct an interview on a cell phone unless absolutely necessary because of the possibility for dropped calls or poor reception.

Tips for Live Interviews

  • Do a dress rehearsal of the interview if time permits. Anticipate questions that may be asked and prepare short, concise answers using your main points.
  • Make sure you know whether there will be “call-ins” where the audience can call in to ask questions.
  • Make sure you turn off all phones and TVs to minimize background noise if you are doing the interview in your office or home.
  • Always operate under the assumption that your microphone is on and recording.
  • Pay attention to your body language. Do not slouch. If you are sitting right next to the reporter, look them in the eye as if you are having a one-on-one conversation.