A couple of days before my first radio interview, I grabbed a quick chat with a friend of mine who has been a journalist for more years than it is polite to mention. Friends at Jubilee Church will probably know who I am referring to! I have received some other invitations to do similar interviews. Perhaps the following list of tips, mostly taken from her but expanded a bit by me, will be of use to some others asked to do such interviews.
Can anyone think of anything important we missed? Why not Tweet or Facebook it to me?
- Do the interview in front of a mirror so you are more expressive.
- Don’t put your hands in front of your mouth as it will muffle the sound.
- Think of your audience: find out what type of people will be listening, and without being untrue to yourself, adapt a bit.
- Sound cheerful. There is nothing worse than a miserable interviewee.
- Have a glass of water handy to soothe your throat if needed.
- Make sure you know your subject: have some notes with bullet points on the key topics to help you (though don’t just read the notes out).
- Remember you are having a conversation. So, get to know the interviewer a bit first by listening to some MP3s if possible. Also, do feel free to bring up important topics rather than be disappointed they got missed (but see also 10. and 11.)
- Radio is more intimate than TV, so be friendly.
- Ask them what topics they are likely to cover beforehand.
- Write down the question to force you to listen and answer that question not the question you wanted them to ask.
- Make sure you answer the question-don’t go on a tangent
- Don’t constantly interrupt the interviewer with “mmm yes err yes.”
- Don’t fidget as any noises you make will be easily picked up.
- Whatever you do, NEVER go to the bathroom in the middle of an interview, so do visit it first!
- Rent a mob. Ask a friend to listen in, especially if its a dial-in, and to call in if you are dying because no one has rung in with a question.
- Finally and most importantly, PRAY before hand, and if possible ask someone to pray during the interview.