33. Media Interviews




Description and Purpose:

Advice about media interviews.


Read the following advice, and apply it for media interviews (in so far as it is applicable to your national situation).

Interview Preparation

  • Research the program
  • Find out the aim and angle of the interview
  • Why you, and who else will be interviewed?
  • Ask for type of questions to be asked, and the first question
  • Live or recorded?
  • Who will be interviewer?
  • Length of interview?
  • Audience?
  • Recap your issue
  • Focus on your ‘ask’
  • Formulate and learn 3 main ‘points to make’ in support of this
  • Consider all possible questions and practice answers.

Interview Tips


  • Dress smartly
  • Be punctual
  • Be relaxed, be yourself
  • Answer crisply and directly, speak slowly and clearly
  • Keep language and message simple.
  • Give ‘sound bites’ of around 20 seconds (practice this!)
  • Get your main points in
  • Be sure of your facts
  • Always sound reasonable and thoughtful
  • Paint pictures, use examples
  • Be positive and upbeat
  • Try to be personable and express passion for the issue
  • Be prepared to answer uncomfortable or difficult questions.
  • Speak clearly and in a natural voice. Avoid getting upset or angry.
  • Maintain good eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Mention your organization


  • Exaggerate
  • Lose your cool
  • Be aggressive, even if challenged
  • Be tricked by leading questions
  • Waffle or ramble on
  • Get sidetracked from your message