Preparing for an interview

Preparing for an interview is comparable to preparing a press release, but it is even more important that you find out who is conducting the interview and which organization they work for. The individual or their organization may have a particular point of view (e.g. a bias in favour of or against vaccination), or they may have a reputation for fairness in news reporting. Another consideration might be whether the interviewer has medical or scientific training that will influence the kind of questions you could be asked. Above all consider the emphasis you need to place on the key messages you want to get across.

During the interview, follow these simple rules:

  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer,
  • Dress in a professional manner,
  • Think before you speak and take time to frame your answers,
  • Speak clearly and audibly in simple conversational language,
  • Stick to the facts and avoid speculation or personal opinions,
  • Make sure you get your key message into the dialogue – more than once if possible,
  • Be enthusiastic and engaged in the conversation – try not to look nervous, even if you feel uncomfortable about being interviewed,
  • Never say "No comment",
  • Remember that there is no such thing as an "off the record" statement that you can be certain the interviewer will keep confidential. 

Most of all – try to imagine how the interview will appear to members of your target audience. Will they be persuaded by your message?