Five on…reasons to say no to an interview

1) No junctions reached

Remember that you need compelling and interesting content. If every answer is likely to be prefaced with, “it’s too early to say…” then it might be better to bide your time.

2)  Your headspace
There might be all sorts of reasons why you are in the wrong headspace for an interview. Ultimately it is your reputation on the line as well as that of your organisation. Feel free to resist the (often internal) pressure if there is a personal reason why you don’t feel up to it on that particular day.

3)  Track record of that programme 
Every programme has an online presence and every programme follows its own familiar format. Ask yourself – is this the sort of environment where I will be able to get a message across? If it isn’t, say no. Remember, some programmes simply set out to generate conflict between guests.

4)  Nature of the interview format 
Is it live or pre-recorded? Is it in the studio or over the phone? Is it a 1-1 or a panel format? Is there a phone-in element? Any one of these might be a deal-breaker in terms of you agreeing to the interview.

5)  No preparation time
The good news is that you don’t need much time for interview preparation. The bad news is that on occasions journalists may be reluctant to give you any preparation time whatsoever. Always create space. If a print journalist wants a quote immediately, or a radio producer wants to transfer you to the studio for a live phone interview, play for time. “A very important meeting for the next 20 minutes” usually works a treat…

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