Being Interviewed? Here Is the Only Piece of Advice You Need

photo credit: Smith House Photography 

photo credit: Smith House Photography 

So. It's finally happened. The day has come when an editor or blogger has reached out to YOU because they want to profile you/your business/your brain on their outlet. 

Has the panic set in yet? While there is plenty of advice we could dole out-- be AUTHENTIC ( are you sick of that word yet?), be honest, be prepared, ask for the questions in advance so you can prep, know your audience, know your interviewer and check out their past work-- the list goes on. And while most of that advice matters, we're sharing our top three picks. 

1. Contrary to what you just read-- Don't ask for the questions in advance. 

Does that scare you? It should. Be nervous. Revel in nervous. The best content comes from a place of discomfort. And as such, the best interviews aren't prepared. If you're accepting the interview in the first place, you should have trust that you're in good interviewer hands. But pre-planned answers and media training. You know your work. You need to trust in yourself as well. Actress Zoey Deutch once told us, "I don't know if media trained Zoey is a role I want to play." And asking for questions in advance is just that-- you playing a role. 

2. Do it over the phone or in person. 

Everyone has gotten pretty lazy when it comes to the interview. In part, the email Q&A is the fault of the content churn and burn-- you can't produce multiple in-person interviews per day. Transcription is time consuming. It's much easier to send things via email and have the subject do the work for you. Everyone is guilty of this because there isn't enough time. TIME YOU DEVIL.

But WHEN and IF possible always ask to do it over the phone or in-person. Your responses and your personality will shine through in the piece. That's what you want the public to see. 

And if you're the interviewer, or green to this whole profession and feel more comfortable conducting an interview over email, today's the day: it's time to step out of your comfort zone. That's where the good content is. 

"Today's the day: It's time to get out of your comfort zone."

Tweet this.  

3. Learn how to speak in Tweets. 

Sure, Twitter may have upped the character limit to 280 for some users, (and man, people don't like it) but you still need to talk in Tweets. Call them "sound bites" or "quotables," just don't call them late for dinner! But really, if you want your interview to be shared (which, is the goal for most) you need to make sure that it is sharable. That doesn't mean dumbing down your language. Brevity is the soul of wit. Wit gets Tweeted. Wit gets shared.

When we get nervous we tend to ramble. Rambling lives at the corner of no one is reading and high bounce rate. Don't overthink sounding smart. Sound human. Be human. (Goes back to not asking for questions in advance.) 

Many women we've spoken to are masters at this. Kristen Bell. Sophia Bush. Yvonne Orji.

Examples include:

"Don’t let your feelings of self-worth come from detached clicks."

"Let social media be fun. Don’t let it be important."

"I stand my ground and do my thing as me. I can go toe-to-toe with the next guy."

But they're famous you say. People pay attention to them no matter what. Did you ever think people started paying attention because they knew this was key to mastering the interview? 

Think about it.