Expert Advice

Posted on: March 18th, 2015 by Sally Sherry

Make Me Want To Interview You AgainContessa Brewer

As an anchor on MSNBC and Correspondent for NBC News, Contessa Brewer has interviewed some of the world’s highest profile leaders. Ms. Brewer is my former co-worker and I know she will always give me the straight scoop. So I asked her to share her expert advice with you, my clients. What would make Contessa Brewer want to interview you again?

Flatter Me
“When you say, ‘Contessa, that’s an excellent question’, you’re doing it to buy yourself time to formulate your answer. But it also tells my viewers that I’m a good interviewer—and when that happens, it makes me like you. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it or say it after every question, but try to work in a couple compliments like, ‘That’s a really good point…’ or ‘Interesting that you bring that up…’ Also, in a contentious interview it might soften my hardball questions.”

Energize Me
“High energy people always come across better. If your energy is low, I would not be inclined to interview you again. Get psyched to go on air and be the most charming version of yourself. I will want to interview you again if you can tell me a compelling story. Your answers need to be animated, colorful and intense. Volume is important too. You don’t want to be soft spoken. Imagine you are at a dinner party with strangers and you want to capture their attention.”

Inform Me
“I want people to be armed with facts when they come to my interview. My viewers are after information that is useful to them. I want specific examples. I want statistics. I want poll results. Vague opinions and general statements don’t add value. The chance that you will be so funny and entertaining that you don’t have to give concrete and useful information is slim. Occasionally it happens, but not often.”