Interviews are really important to your career, whether you’re a performer, director or other industry professional. But, a bad interview can be detrimental to your career. Many people are clueless when it comes to interviewing. Here are a few tips we give our clients.
Be On Time
With anything in life, it’s important to be on time. Whether, it’s a phone, Skype or in-person interview, always make sure to be on time. It’s just professional an will set you apart from others. If it’s a written interview, make sure to do it as soon as possible and return it in a timely manner.
Yes, we all get nervous and somehow this speeds up the rate at which we speak. Try and remind yourself to speak at a slower rate, kind of how you would speak to a friend–casual, confident and not a million miles a minute. Also, make sure you sound upbeat and awake, even if you just woke up 10 minutes ago.
Fans want to hear positive aspects about your life—they have a fantasy that you have a perfect life. While this may or may not be true, go with it. Don’t talk about negative things such as bad breakups, health issues, family problems and/or things along those lines. Also don’t bash others—it will only make you look bad. Your agent, manager, webmaster, publicist and lawyer work hard for you and don’t need to see libelous things written about them. We’re all on the same team here—yours.
Practice & Be Prepared
If you don’t have lot of experience interviewing, look at other interviews, write the questions down and practice answering them. A lot of times, you will get the same questions or types of questions. Be ready to answer questions about your career, who you like working with and what you have coming up. I do run-throughs with my clients who need the practice.
Same Question, Different Interviewer
You may find yourself answering the same question over and over. That’s how it is and part of your job as a public figure or celebrity. Not every fan will read every interview and interviewers don’t always do their homework. Even Tom Cruise gets asked the same questions over and over during an interview or at a press conference, but he answers them with style and finesse, like it’s the first time he’s answered that question—same should go for you.
Questions You Won’t Answer
Some questions should never be asked like about your family, boyfriend and/or kids. If you want to talk about these things, that’s fine. I advise against it. Tell the interviewer what you won’t answer—include these things and anything else you’re uncomfortable answering. Make sure you don’t come off as rude when telling him or her. If during the interview, they ask a question you didn’t think they would and it’s not cool with you, politely decline to answer. If it’s a written interview, answer under the question that you can’t answer it.
Show some gratitude and say thank you. The interviewer has gone out of their way to come up with the questions and taken the time to interview you. Be genuine yet polite during the interview and after. A nasty attitude won’t score you points and may keep you from getting interviews in the future—the media does talk to each other.
After the interview can also be crucial. Make sure you do these things:
- Thank the interviewer again and make sure to Tweet out a link to the interview or places to buy the magazine (if it’s something in print). Use other social media to promote the interview, as well.
- Treat the media with respect—if they print something that’s not exactly correct or a horrible picture, let them know personally or have your publicist contact them. Always treat the media with respect and don’t harass, bully, threaten and/or be rude to them. You need them more than they need you.
- Listen to interview and see what you could have done better for next time. Ask others what they think and see if they have constructive criticism and/or kudos. Also, listen to other people’s interviews to see what they’re doing that’s good and bad and apply it to you.
- And, if your publicist scored you that interview, thank them, too. Sometimes, we feel like we have a thankless job and we like kudos, too.