I’ve been a journalist all my life, which means that I don’t get asked the questions, I ask the questions. I don’t get interviewed. I do the interview.
Sometimes I have possible answers in my head, just in case I get asked something but no one ever does.
So when I got the questions for my first ever QnA, it was a big cheery welcome. I wanted to scream with joy. Add to that the fact that I’m being interviewed as an author and not a journalist. It was a big moment.
Since then, I’ve had a couple of interviews as an author. It is nerve wracking sometimes because there are moments when I feel like a fraud. Of course, I’ve been told this feeling is actually quite normal. I just try to remember that although I am a new author, my experience is my own. These experiences may be able to help others out there wanting to do the same thing as I do.
Still, I try to prepare for it when I can. Here are some tips on preparing for an interview.
Ask for the questions ahead of time
When I work as a journalist, I give the questions to my interviewees because I know they want to get it done right (this is different from when it’s an ambush interview but that’s not relevant here). I ask for the same thing when I’m being interviewed and they always accommodate it because they want the best possible answers too. This makes things easier for me to prepare.
Read, review, and rehearse your answers
If it’s on print or online media, it is easier to control the answers you give because you can edit it afterwards (authors are good at editing, I think). If it’s on TV or radio then rehearse your answers beforehand. It won’t exactly be the same thing when you go on air but hopefully, they tape it and it can be edited.
This goes without saying but I will say it anyway. Don’t cuss, unless your brand as an author is that kind of thing. Be polite and don’t disrespect the interviewer. You want more coverage so play nice. If you’re being attacked, which rarely happens, just answer as politely as possible, with composure. In the end, the attacker will look like the idiot instead of you. Be calm and cool.
I hope these tips help. And don’t forget to smile.