Be a better interview

October 31, 2011

Just heard an interview on the BBC with a guy who it seemed wasn't focused on doing the interview. I think it was via Skype, but maybe it was just plain speaker phone. That's OK. What wasn't OK was the noise he was making as he clearly did other things like opening and closing drawers. And you could tell he was walking around the room because his voice got louder and softer throughout the interview.

Nothing says "I've got better things to do" than background noise proving you're doing other things. This is true on phone calls (who isn't guilty of trying to type quietly?), but it's especially true on interviews. Particularly interviews for broadcast. Do I have to add that this is even more true when the reporter on the line is from a major media outlet like the BB freakin' C?!

I do a ton of radio interviews and have developed a routine to make sure I'm focused on the interview and am not broadcasting a lot of distracting stuff in the background:

  • I always put the Marvin (l) and Mookie (r) in the yard when I have to do a phone interview or other important call.

    Put the dogs outside.

  • Disconnect the doorbell.
  • Mute the ringers on the phone.
  • Put a sign on the door "Interview in Progress. Do Not Disturb."
  • Close all apps on my computer, including my email.
  • Check the audio in and out on the phone or computer before the call begins.

It's not enough to just show up physically for an interview or call. You need to show up emotionally, too.

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