chapter  10
Interview techniques
Pages 19

Now you have the journalist’s attention (whether this is what you set out to do or not!). This section covers dealing directly with an interview situation and what is expected from you: the expert.

This is the point where a lot of people tend to panic-it’s easy to fall into a ‘they’re out to get me/trip me up’ tailspin. Let’s remind ourselves what the journalist is after: knowledge, expertise, information, opinion, illumination, explanations …

Don’t forget that they need you. They can’t very well write a story along the lines of ‘this is the best treatment for wrinkly foreheads/ it’s dangerous to undergo buttock enlarging injections in someone’s apartment … according to no one’. It is in their interest to get the best out of you, to secure good quotes that bring their item to life. As a top newspaper journalist said, when I asked why they always choose a specifi c surgeon for their interviews: “He gets it,” she said simply. “He always gives me good, solid sound bites (more on this later), and most importantly, he picks up the phone.”