How To Answer Tough Questions

media interview tips

Tell me, bombshell, have you ever turned down a media gig because you were afraid of the tough questions?

If so, you’re not alone.

So many of us do…

  • … we don’t want to look bad;
  • … we don’t want to get stumped on screen;
  • … and, we definitely don’t want to start over-sharing whilst under pressure.

We’re trained to want to give an answer. We’re rewarded for it at home, at school and in meetings. But, this doesn’t always translate quite so well when we’re in the hot seat.

When it comes to media interviews, it pays to think ahead.

Eek! What if I say too much? Or, can’t speak at all?!

The best preparation is knowing what those tough questions might be.

It’s tricker than it seems of course because these questions are often our blind spots, otherwise we would have prepared for them in the first place, right?!

Dig deep here, bombshell.

#1. Knowing the interviewer and the audience, what questions might you be asked that won’t be so warm and fuzzy?      

Of course, you don’t need to give anyone an all access pass!

#2. What topics are off limits?

Take this time to establish your boundaries and decide what information, such as family or finances, you absolutely won’t answer any questions on. You can alert the interviewing team to this beforehand and avoid any uncomfortable moments on camera.

Help! I wasn’t expecting that question!  

Of course, no matter how prepared you are {and it does help, believe me!} you may still get a question that you’re not quite sure how to answer.

The key: bridging.

Bridging means taking the interviewer somewhere else, quickly and smoothly. Remember, the interviewers main goal is to create interesting and engaging content. So, if you can help them to do that, they’ll follow your lead.

Let me give you an example from my own archives.

Whilst running Pink Kisses, my previous company, interviewers would often ask me about my ex as our split did, in part, inspire the business. It was a juicy question! So, I came up with a playful response…

“You know, I’ve spent way too much time thinking about him. Let’s move on to something more interesting…”

Sometimes I would even suggest the next topic. And, it worked! Because it was a little cheeky and humorous. Plus, it allowed the interviewer to move on painlessly and ultimately create a fun, engaging and insightful interview.

It really can be that simple, bombshell.

Pens at the ready! It only takes 2 minutes…

Over to you, bombshell.

#1. Set a timer for one minute and write a list of topics that you might like to speak on.

#2. Choose one of those topics, reset your timer, and jot down any questions that you would not like to be asked and any boundaries that you may have in that area.

#3. You did it! You now have a list of tough questions and possible limits. Now, think of how you might bridge, like I did above, or what notes you need to send to the team ahead of your interview.

There you have it!

What are your tough questions? Have you ever been asked a tricky question that’s put you off interviews? Let me help.

Pop ’em in the comments below or reach out on Facebook and we can work though how you might answer or bridge them.

I can’t wait to hear from you!




P.S. If you liked that, you’ll love this! My best tips on where to look during an interview. 

P.P.S. Keep your eyes peeled for Nail Your Media Interview, my online media training programme. It’s coming back soon with the added bonus of a live event. Squee! I’m so excited. 

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