(A big thank you to Jeanette Levellie for providing this blog post.)
Whether you participate in a radio, TV, blog, or print interview, you need to prepare.
Some interviewers want to create their own questions. If so, request to see the questions ahead of time so you can write and practice succinct answers.
Other interviewers will be happy to receive questions you’ve devised. If you write your own questions, make a variety based on your career, the content of your books, and the take-away value of your writing. You may want to include a question or two about your family and hobbies. Readers enjoy knowing that you have two kids, hate housework, and love old movies so they can perceive you as a real person.
For a blog interview, check back several times to reply to comments and thank the blog host. Link back to the post from your own social media sites, to increase exposure to the interview.
In a radio interview, listeners rely solely on your voice to know your heart. Ensure that your tone of voice and word choice reflect your personality and writing style. If I am doing an interview about my book The Heart of Humor, I smile often and add wit to my answers. If I’m talking about how growing up in an alcoholic family has affected my writing, my voice will take a more serious tone.
TV interviewers usually send you guidelines for acceptable attire, how to tell when the camera is on, and where to look during the interview. The more relaxed you are, the better the interview will flow. Try to chat beforehand with the camera operators, studio technicians, and interviewer, so you’ll feel more at ease. Sincere compliments will endear you to those new friends who can raise awareness of your name.
If you trip over your words or make a mistake during a radio or TV interview, simply go on. Don’t draw attention to your mistake or over-apologize. The sooner you recover the more professional you’ll appear.
View, listen to, and read your interviews to learn how to improve. Should you wear less jewelry, smile more often, or talk less about your dog Frankfurter? Don’t criticize or lose sleep over your blunders; learn from them so you can do better next time.
—Jeanette E. Levellie has published hundreds of humor/inspirational columns, articles, greeting cards, and poems. She is the author of three books, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top, The Heart of Humor, and Shock the Clock: Time Management for Writers and Other Creative Types. www.jeanettelevellie.com