How do we prepare for an interview? 8 tips to get us started

Tips from peer support group meetings

Each month, at our facilitated peer support group meetings, we discuss a topic related to engaging with the media, asking people to share tips, learning or advice. These are all based on survivor and practitioner experiences with working with journalists or broadcasters. We cover various topics and share anonymous learning on our blog afterwards.

The question we asked recently was:

How do we prepare ourselves before an interview / public talk / media engagement?

Here are 8 anonymous thoughts and tips that begin to explore the answer.

  1. Asking ourselves: do we know what our boundaries are when saying yes or no to an interview? Are we saying ‘yes’ to an interview because we actually want to do it and it achieves our goals – it’s in the direction we want and to the audience we want to reach?
  2. Have we considered if we’re the right person for this? Make sure we’re not saying yes, just because the opportunity has come along.
  3. Even if I want to do the interview, am I well enough to go through with it today? What will it entail?
  4. Have we considered the reach of the media piece – are we aware of the audience (numbers of people, group of people, online, TV, radio etc.) that will be aware of the piece? How will that impact on us?
  5. Making sure we have a person to keep in touch with after the media has been published/post interview – being able to ring or text them for support and ask them to read/hear the piece and give feedback.
  6. Asking from the start of the interview if it’s possible to see the headline or main content or quote/s used before the piece goes out and have advance warning of its publish date.
  7. Being aware of the audience, and tailoring your interview to them. Considering how you can reach this group – bringing in specific examples that will resonate with the audience.
  8. Researching and prepping some brief stats about the wider issue and bringing them into the interview. That way, we’re being more inclusive of other people’s experiences and preventing myths from being reinforced.

For more resources and tips for activists engaging with the media visit our resources page.

If you’d like to hear more about the peer support group meetings and what’s involved, please contact us.