This is the most critical phase of the interview. While the SME is the technical/command expert on the subject matter, YOU are the expert on the conduct of the interview.
Rehearse the conduct of the interview with the SME, focusing on Q&As and formulating effective responses. Critique and rehearse interview techniques relevant to the type of interview (on camera or print).
- Present SME with a package of themes, messages, talking points and Q&As to assist in his interview preparation.
- Provide SME all products you are giving the reporter to build their situational awareness.
- Include read-ahead materials:
- Affiliate of the reporter
- Review the ground rules you will put in place for the interview.
- We have X minutes (time limit) for the interview
- All questions will be on X topic
- Any questions not pertaining to X topic can be addressed with PA at a later time
- All information is on the record and any quotes can be attributed to SME
- Use a mobile device to record and give feedback during the practice so the SME can see themselves and self-critique.
- Ensure interview location is free of distractions and classified/sensitive information. Seek opportunities for setting to complement message.
- Discuss your role during the interview and come to consensus on your interaction during the interview process.