Prepping for a Phone Interview

Phone interviews are an inexpensive, effective way to talk with reporters.

The first step in preparing for a phone interview is to nail down key information about the story. Questions to ask the reporter include:
– What is your deadline?
– When will the story appear/air?
– What types of questions do you want to discuss?
– What is your email/phone number for follow up details?

Based on the questions the reporter plans to ask, develop a practice Q&A for yourself. Be sure to incorporate your key messages into every answer. Also, don’t expect the reporter will limit questions just to what was shared pre-phone call. While developing your Q&A, think of other questions that may pop up and prep answers for those, too.

Be prepared for a final question from the reporter of “Is there anything you’d like to add?” This is a great opportunity to insert important key messages, plug an upcoming event, etc.

During the call, ask a buddy to sit in and take notes for you. It’s always great to have a second person on the call to make note of key follow up points.

After the phone call, send a thank you note to the reporter and follow up on any outstanding items right away. If possible, send follow items within one hour of the call.