Devise a Plan
Start off by preparing and planning for an interview by using a planning worksheet to track all of the interview logistics. Create a mission plan for external media interviews. Identifying the audience and any hurdles allows you to deliver tailored responses focused on talking points that support your command message.
Gather Background Information
Another great resource is a checklist for conducting an interview. This checklist guides you through researching the topic and focal point of your interview. Part of your research should include learning as much as you can about your interviewee. Knowing background information on the topic and your subject and selecting an appropriate location to conduct the interview provides you with a solid foundation for building rapport with your interviewee. If working with a subject matter expert, then use additional preparation resources to plan, coach and facilitate the interview.
Choose a Location
When selecting a location for your interview, give careful consideration to noise, background visuals, framing and lighting. Choosing a location with the least amount of distractions is optimal. Unless you are out in the field, conduct a pre-planning site survey to identify and address any security, safety and hazard concerns for the location.
Public affairs professionals conduct various types of interviews in their role as publicists for their units. Proper planning and preparation is key for successful interviews. Use the following resources to sharpen your interview skills.