Three Things to Avoid Before or During an Interview

Interview No-Nos

When it comes to doing media interviews, the list of things to do and NOT to do is long. However, there are three that are at the top of the list. As you set up interviews for your book, avoid doing the following three things.

Don’t eat

Avoid eating anything for at least an hour before your interview begins. There is nothing worse than listening to an author’s lip smacks that happen naturally after you’ve just eaten. Also, avoid any kind of dairy for hours prior to an interview. While scientific research on this varies, I found dairy products increased phlegm and therefore learned to avoid them before going on the air. People generally perform better when they are a little hungry anyway.

Don’t compete with the host

There are some hosts who are not familiar with the concept of shining a light on the guest and prefer instead to not only find out your point of view, but then go deeply into their own. Sometimes this can come across as some kind of competition as to who has the best information. If you find yourself in this strange position in the middle of an interview, watch yourself. Don’t get pulled into any kind of competitiveness with regard to the host. Remember, the audience is there because they love the host so the one who looks bad would be you. Let them finish their thoughts and then you can jump in with your points and key messages.

Don’t leave it to fate

Don’t hope the host asks you the right questions during your interview. All too often an author takes time to book a show and do an interview only to show up basically unprepared because they figure they’ll just answer all the host’s interview questions. The problem is that 9 times out of 10 (and the accurate number might be 99 times out of 100) the host has not read your book. Hopefully, they have read the press kit and at the very least they have your list of interview questions, but maybe not. What can happen is the host asks questions based more on their own understanding of your topic rather than your actual area of expertise. It is up to you to elegantly take control of the interview and make your key points. Do not, I repeat, do not hope the host asks you the right questions. They often won’t.

There are other things to avoid of course but these are three very strong ones. For an entire list of them, check out Media Darling: Shine Through Every Interview. While this looks like a pitch for my book, it really is just pointing out another resource you can check out if you want to master the skills of doing great interviews.

And remember, keep your energy up for interviews. If you feel like your energy is over the top, you are just about right.

To your success!


P.S. I Can’t Go For That!






If you’d like to receive juicy publicity secrets directly on a regular basis, join the Savvy Sunday Community at the bottom of this page.


Scroll to Top