Imagine! Front page interview on the Arts Section and all you have to do is give a 15 minute interview via phoner with a really anxious journalist and fan of your work.
It's harder than you think, and what oftentimes can happen is the interview comes out in print "reading flat" and uninspiring or worse yet, condescending.
Keep in mind when you're doing an interview that it's usually with someone who doesn't know you personally and may not get your humor, your personal asides or find your sarcasm as funny and charming as your spouse does.
Here are some tips for interviewing:
1. Be honest
2. Take a deep breath before you answer each question and give a pause.
3. Journalists like to use uncomfortable silences to get you to fill them first with something juicy or something you might not otherwise say, so be conscious of that and don't get uncomfortable if you don't have a ready answer. Take your time.
4. Don't bellow, belittle or besmirch the interviewer during the process of interviewing with them. (Email me and I'll tell you about my interview with a hollywood A-lister who made me cry.:>)
5. Don't be offputting. You've said yes to the interview, so don't spend your time or waste their time giving bad soundbites.
6. Engage your smile. I tell clients to put a mirror in front of them (on their desks) if they're doing phoners and the whole time they're talking on the phone, to make sure they're smiling. It's amazing how just keeping a smile on your face while you're talking to someone can positively charge your interaction and openess during an interview.
7. Laugh at yourself. Self-deprecation is funny in small doses. (Anyone watch Al Gore? He's great at this.)
8. If you don't know the answer to something, don't make something up. Say, "I don't know the answer to that, but can I get back to you?"
9. If the journalist or interviewer is becoming too aggressive, you can politely end the interview early.
10. Research the journalist and what they've written prior to the interview so you can really understand their style of writing and glean some good information about their style of interviewing.