media interview

Landing a media interview is an exciting moment but also filled with nerves. It’s natural to feel anxious about what to say or wear or even the questions that will be asked.

It is important to embrace this feeling and view the interview as an opportunity to speak directly with your audience.

Nail your media interview and become “good talent”, by following key interview tips listed below!

What do I wear?

Presentation is key, you must dress appropriately in a way that doesn’t distract from your message. Avoid wearing fluorescent colours, or anything that is overly loud. You don’t want the audience to solely focus on your outfit, you want them to focus on your message and your story.

Accept that you’re going to be nervous

Anyone who claims they don’t get anxious before going on camera is lying. Even the most seasoned media professionals get nervous. Nerves are there to serve you. They get you moving quickly and aid you with adrenaline in a positive way.

Being on TV and radio is a big moment, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to share your story and achieve something great.

To manage your nerves you need to embrace them, not resist them!

It’s not a conversation, it’s an opportunity to achieve something.

Don’t treat the interview as a conversation, it’s here to help you achieve something. Speak directly to the journalist as if you were speaking directly to your audience and remember that the media is a platform for you to communicate your messages out to more people. 

Avoid saying “as I said earlier”

By stating “as I said earlier” you create a defensive barrier with the journalist and your audience, ultimately detracting from sharing your key messages.

When you’re in an interview, you need to be in the present moment. If the journalist asks the same question, treat it as an opportunity to repeat the same message.

Use the repetition opportunity to deliver your message again and again!

Never say “no comment”

The golden rule in any media interview is to never say “no comment”. It implies guilt and culpability, and can unfavourably tarnish your reputation. Instead, prepare responses to all possible contingencies. Rather than not answering the question, use it as an opportunity to get your narrative out there in the press.

Never complain about the media in the media

You may be having a difficult time within the media, and dislike the way journalists are talking about you, your organisation, or the broader issues in your sector. Don’t waste your interview attacking the press, but rather view it as a chance to assert your narrative to a much larger audience. The journalist is a vehicle to speak directly to the people you’re targeting, so it is important to play the issue, not the personality.

Forget the scripts and drop the perfectionism

Scripts can set you up to fail. In an interview, you want to speak from the heart and come across as authentic. Although it may be daunting to do so, it is important to communicate the essence of your messages. Accept that you will make mistakes, and be confident in your presentation.

Always use examples

Your answers need to connect to your audience. It can’t always be theoretical, this will make the viewer lose interest in your story.

Final thoughts

A media interview is an exciting moment filled with nerves and uncertainty. It is a fantastic opportunity to share your story, connect with your audience and raise awareness of the issues occurring within your sector. When preparing your interview, it’s important to focus on your core messaging and drop your perfectionism. See it as a chance to speak from your heart, and really connect with your audience.

Tony Nicholls

Tony Nicholls

Founder and Director of Good Talent Media

Tony Nicholls is an accomplished journalist who has held roles for more than ten years with the ABC, SBS and Network Ten, covering thousands of news stories across Victoria, Australia and in the international media.