Tips: What to Do When You're Interviewed

Saint Louis University has a good working relationship with the media and strives to be as helpful as possible to reporters.

You can help us maintain that relationship by calling University media relations or Medical Center media relations and letting us know if you speak to the media.

When reporter calls:

  • If you're not available or prepared to speak to a reporter, note the reporter's name, media outlet and phone number.
  • If possible, determine the angle and deadline for the story.
  • Call the reporter back or say that someone will respond as soon as possible.
  • Contact University media relations or Medical Center media relations and provide information as soon as possible.

Tips for television interviews:

  • Practice saying your words out loud before interview.
  • Check your appearance just before the interview.
  • Sit up straight and lean slightly forward.
  • Maintain eye contact with the reporter, not the camera.
  • Before speaking, smile at the interviewer to establish rapport.
  • Modulate voice while speaking.
  • If you normally use gestures to complement your expression of ideas, do so.
  • Keep answers short; use analogies when appropriate.
  • Stay calm and pleasant; maintain an open, friendly face.
  • Communicate enthusiasm and involvement in subject.
  • Relax and have fun.

Tips for print interviews:

  • Be courteous.
  • Use short, direct words; avoid jargon.
  • Don't speculate or answer hypothetical questions .
  • If you don't have information, let the reporter know when it will be available.
  • Be respectful of reporters' deadlines; return calls promptly.
  • Explain to the reporter if legal or privacy issues prevent you from providing information.
  • Extend influence by inviting the reporter to call back for clarification.
  • Always return reporters' calls to avoid reporting partial or inaccurate information.
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