Securing an interview is no small feat! Whether you’re new to working in PR or you’re a small business owner who has secured your first interview, here are a few tips to help you prepare.
1. Do a Happy Dance!
You did it, so be excited that all the work you’ve done to pitch has gotten you the first step to coverage! However, don’t go overboard, because there’s still much to do.
2. Research the outlet, network, publication.
Who is the audience? What is the style and tone of their previous work? How has this outlet covered others? It’s important to prepare yourself for the types of questions they might ask, and try to predict what information would be most useful for the interviewer.
3. Think about your objective.
What do you want to highlight most? Talking points are key in helping you focus on those important details and what could also become soundbites for the interviewer. Additionally, you’ll likely be more relaxed and the process of answering questions will come naturally if those key points are memorized.
4. Read up and get to know the interviewer.
Find out as much as you can about the journalist or reporter you’ll be meeting. What is their background? What is their style? What are the recent articles they’ve written? Have they interviewed your competitors or similar businesses? Have you seen them in action? By familiarizing yourself with that person you’ll feel comfortable knowing what you’re stepping into and avoid any major surprises.
5. Consider the senses to create the atmosphere.
Often you’ll choose to err on the side of formality and dress the part. However, consider the story you’d be telling or recreating for the coverage. In my early days in PR I dressed up as the Easter Bunny to help promote a children’s springtime event for a morning news television segment. Similarly, I brought food for a radio interview and used as many descriptive words that could guide listeners’ senses into imagining what they would experience by dining there. Do whatever you can to make the interviewers job easy when it comes to telling that story.
Just as you would for any other new opportunity, go into the process with a positive attitude and enthusiasm. The passion you have will be evident to the interviewer and their audience. And don’t forget to relax, after all, you’ve spent all this time preparing yourself!
Now, let’s go back to number one. Go for that happy dance again! Be proud of your work and be prepared to do it all again!