Prepping for an Interview

Well, it is finally here – interview season. Perhaps you’re thinking “Where do I even begin?!” just like a majority of us. Ooligan Press has you covered.

Let’s go back to the basics. To start, create a list of background questions that are most likely going to be asked, and work with your author on preparing the answers. These questions are often formalities to establish your credibility, create rapport with the interview, and set the stage for more important questions later. By anticipating these questions and ensuring the comfort to be able to do so in advance, your author will be able to get through these faster and therefore increase the time to spend on the more critical questions to follow.

The next step involves promoting your book (and thus your author). It’s important to plan for the types of opinion and perspective questions the interviewer might ask, as well. Knowing that more difficult questions are approaching helps you prepare your author and prepare their responses, which can be used as opportunities to promote your book and your personal brand.

Here are some additional tips and suggestions to keep in mind when thinking about how to best prep your author for their upcoming interview:

  • Prepare answers that give the opportunity to reference the book – themes, key selling points, or anything else you want people to take away from or remember after the interview
  • Don’t attempt to fully “script,” or memorize, your responses to the basic questions about education, general interests, employment (or self-employment), history, etc
  • Instead, prepare a mind map or fact sheet that lists that background questions you’re likely to be asked, along with the key ideas and connections you want to make for the book
  • Use a large type size so you can glance at it during the interview
  • Avoid full sentences when organizing your thoughts in advance! Instead, jot down the main ideas and phrases you want to include in your answers
  • Sentences encourage your author to read their responses rather than to respond in a confident and enthusiastic tone
  • Never read your answers! Instead, review your cheat sheet before the interview, and have it handy for a quick glance at during the interview
  • This works especially well in Zoom or virtual interviews
  • Make sure you are on the same page as your author! Setting up a meeting before a bigger publicity interview to discuss key selling points and other topics is a good idea to ensure consistency</li>

Lastly, it is important to emphasize to your author the importance of how you say something, not just what you say. It isn’t just your message that improves when you anticipate and prepare to be interviewed. The more you prepare, the more comfortable you’ll be during the interview, and your comfort instantly communicates itself to your interviewer as well as those reading, viewing, or listening to your interview. With anticipation and preparation, your responses to the interview questions you’re asked will not only be on-point and relevant, but your delivery will also communicate your confidence, likability, and enthusiasm for your book. With a little anticipation and preparation, you’ll emerge not only as an expert but as a likable expert!

Communication is key.

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