Every now and again, as a minister, you may be invited to do media interviews. Therefore, we would like to provide you with a few practical tips to help you present your best self!
1.) Arrive On Time: First impressions are lasting impressions. Whether your interview is over the phone or in person, it is imperative that you arrive on time. This will give you an opportunity to: discuss the flow of the interview; go over the potential interview questions; make suggestions as to what you would like to discuss, or not discuss; and give you an opportunity to gather your nerves, use the restroom, refresh your make-up, amidst other essential opportunities; such as, requesting water or hot tea to keep you hydrated during the interview. A good rule of thumb is to arrive 30 minutes ahead of time for in person interviews; or be on the phone at least 10 minutes before your phone interview begins.
2.) Attire: The attire you wear depends on the time, location, and occasion of your interview. If you will be doing an on camera interview at a television station, or in a location outside of the ministry atmosphere, dressing in a business suit, or comfortable business attire is appropriate, unless requested to wear something specific. Dark colors are best for an on-camera interview as well as it's essential to avoid wearing things with busy patterns or fluorescent colors. If you are at a ministry function that may present an opportunity for you to interview, take a moment to adjust your clothes and check your grooming before going on camera.
3.) Preparation: Always prepare for your interview. Before accepting an interview, do research on the show or magazine. Find out the format and theme of the show to ensure it aligns with your spiritual and moral values. If at all possible, ask for an advanced copy of the interview questions so that you can prepare and rehearse your answers. You always want to make sure that your answers are truthful, authentic, and scripturally based. Avoid questions that will cause you to share a negative, political, or biased opinion about an issue or individual. Regardless of how you may feel, prepare to answer questions in a positive and uplifting way. If you are sharing your personal story, think about exactly the points you would like to share and stick to those points. If necessary, make notes on small post cards, or if allowed, have notes on your phone or iPad available for a quick glance to help you stay on track. Also, be sure to bring a hard copy of your bio or media kit, just in case the interviewer leaves his or her copy; in addition, if you have a link to an electronic press kit (EPK) that would be even better as you can just forward the link to it from your phone email account.
4.) Brevity and Conciseness: During an interview, there will be time constraints. So, make sure that the answers you have prepared are short, concise, and to the point that will allow you to get your most important information and points across. Ensure that you speak clearly and avoid speed-talking, interrupting, or boisterous laughter when speaking, especially when speaking into microphones. It's okay to take a few short pauses to gather your thoughts before you respond. Also, only answer the questions you've been asked, unless you've been given the opportunity to elaborate; be sure to never hi-jack the interview by starting to interview the host or taking over the show. Always, remain gracious, kind, and submissive to the interview and time constraints. If perhaps, you are asked question you would prefer not to answer, simply respond by saying, "I don't have a response to that at this time." Or, "May I please consider that question another time, as I am not prepared to answer that right now." Most interviewers will respectfully go to the next question.
5.) Gratitude: Began your interview by acknowledging and thanking the host for the opportunity to be interviewed. Free publicity is invaluable and you want to ensure that you let the host know that you appreciate it.
Lastly, be confident and have fun!: Take a few deep breaths and be confident that God has given you something encouraging and positive to share. Enjoy the interview and just be your authentic self. If you follow these quick tips, you will be sure to have a great interview!