Alright, it has happened! You’ve secured that interview on a podcast or for a newspaper for your web series and you’re ready to kill it. Now, you’re probably thinking, “I don’t need to prep that much! It’s my show, isn’t it? Who else knows my own show better?”
From personal experience, we can tell you it is VERY easy to think that way. However, think of this interview as a gigantic pitch meeting. Except, you’re speaking to a podcast host or reporter and not a network executive. Nonetheless, this is your opportunity to show the world what is special about your show. You are in control of what information you provide and what information stays hidden. These interviews give people an idea not just of what your show is about but also about who you are as a person and a content creator.
Thus, you can see why we’re always a big advocate of preparing for your interview. But don’t fret! Here are three tips you can utilize to make use of your interview to ensure that you not only control the narrative but put your best foot forward for your web series and yourself.
1. Anticipate what questions you’re going to get.
Yes, we know this sounds very obvious. However, we’ve seen it happen quite a few times where people get questions they would’ve been ready for had they only thought a bit deeper about the interview they were walking into. So, it helps a ton to fully understand what you’re in for. Research the podcast or the reporter. What have they asked past subjects? What is the tone of their past work? What big industry news has occurred on the day of your interview? Is there anything about your show that could possibly raise controversy? Doing your homework can go a long way in ensuring you’re in control when it comes to interview time.
2. Understand how you come across.
Especially when it comes to podcasts, this is important but this also carries a lot of importance for your standard reporter interviews. Do a practice interview and record your voice and then listen to it. How do you come across? Are you engaging? Are your answers brief or are they too long? Put it this way: would you be engaged by yourself if you were a reporter or a podcast listener? Share the recording with a friend and gather their honest opinion. Self-reflecting on how you interview beforehand can help you fix bad habits ahead of the big moment. Being an engaging interviewee will make your podcast episode especially interesting or make the write-up about your show that much better.
3. Don’t only know your sound bites but know how to insert them into the conversation.
What three fascinating things would you want a reporter or podcast listener to remember about your show? Congrats, you now have your soundbites! However, this isn’t enough. 9 times out of 10, you’re not going to get the question you want to insert the sound bite you want. So, you have to become a pro at using connecting phrases to bridge into your soundbites. For example, let’s say you want to mention you partnered with a nonprofit for your show. However, you get the question: what was the writing process like? You can say something like, “The writing process was such a fun and creative journey but the really fascinating thing about our show is that we managed to secure a partnership with a non-profit for it.” You can answer their question while making sure you say what you want to say.
All in all, each and every interview you do will be different. We’ve never had an interview repeat itself. But, that’s part of the fun of publicizing your work! You’ve gotten through the pre-production process, the horrors of fundraising, the challenges of principal photography, and the mountain that is post-production. Now you get to share your passion for your work! And preparing for an interview is very similar to preparing for a role. If you do your research and rehearse, you’re going to give an awards-worthy performance.