A poster about writing tips for interviews.We hold this truth to be self-evident – at some point, if you have reached a certain stage of being ‘known’, you will end up doing an interview. How to give good interview? That’s  a whole course of study in itself.
There are fascinating accomplished people out there who don’t do well in interviews because they fall over themselves doing so. There are others not as well-known who shine because they do interview well. A few points to keep in mind whenever you are interviewed.
1) Tell the truth. If you embellish, even a little, it might appear to help shine your star in that particular interview, but sooner or later someone else will look back and say, “but before, you said…” and some little thing you all but forgot about will come back to bite you.
2) Cultivate wit. Wit equates to quotability. If you are quoted, the interview takes on a life of its own and attains a degree of “virality” (that is SO a word, I just made it one) and more people get to see it, read it, hear about you. It’s all good from there. But good wit is not just “being funny”. Go study Oscar Wilde. No, seriously. Do it.
3) Find something unique. Many interviewers will ask the same questions of everyone they interview, so your answers will be measured against all those before you. Try to give an answer that will be yours, yours alone. Something that will scream “oh [YOURNAME} said that!” Think of it as building your brand.
4) Be real. Be YOU. Trying to create a whole new “interview persona” or “celebrity persona” is exhausting, difficult, and unnecessary. Interviewers aren’t trying to make you play a role in a play, just be YOU. Sincerity comes through. So does fakery. Start simpering, and it will show. Reach inside and bring out something that shows your own spirit and sets it apart from everyone else.
5) Say everything you need to say in the language you need to say it. Sometimes that means being succinct. sometimes it means being lyrical. You’ll know when.
6) Don’t show fear. Don’t show apprehension. Even if you aren’t born confident… fake it till you make it. A calm, centered, poised, articulate interviewee is a joy for the interviewer. Give as good as you can, make it as little hard work for them as you are able, and interviewers will be back – and you want them to be back. If you’re giving interviews, you want to keep giving them. You need to stay in the spotlight. Make it easy for them to keep it on you.
I was just interviewed by Davida Chazan, The Chocolate Lady blogger and book reviewer. She sent me some interesting questions, something less prevalent than you might think.
One was: If you could visit 5 places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?
My answer:
The Antarctic – although it may already be too late for that – because it is literally the navel of the world. I really would like to see that before it becomes a memory and a dream.
A scenic photo of PatagoniaPatagonia, because it’s one of the last wild places of the earth.
Istanbul, because I wrote a novel set in Constantinople and I would love to burrow into the historical crevices of the place and see how much of what I wrote about survives.
The Great Wall of China and those magnificent misty Chinese landscapes of crags rising over the river in deepending twilight while a fisherman poles a small boat over shadowed waters.
… and dammit – does it HAVE to be real? (TCL: of course not!) – Tigana, from the book of the same name by Guy Gavriel Kay. Because in some strange transcendental way that country has become part of my heart.
Read the whole interview HERE