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Interview Prep Tips for Professional Services, Part III

Interview opportunities can be a valuable tool for professional services firms to increase awareness about their services, position their professionals as subject matter experts, and help drive business development. However, for these opportunities to be worthwhile, firms must commit to proper planning and training. Thus far in our series on interview prep tips, we’ve covered delivery best practices and tips for phone and on-camera interviews. In this week’s post, we take a closer look at how you should craft the content for your interview.

Here are our top five tips for developing compelling content that will stick during an interview:

  • Get Organized: Use an interview prep sheet to organize your thoughts into coherent and brief talking points. Think of your messaging/talking points as having a core message supported by stories, soundbites, and statistics. Write them down with that structure on your interview prep sheet. This sheet should be your primary tool to prepare. If you’ll be speaking with a reporter on the phone, you should have this prep sheet in front of you for the interview.
  • Practice: Once you outline talking points before an interview, practice them in advance. It’s true that practice makes perfect. If you think you can wing an interview, your message is likely to get lost and might not be used at all.
  • Add Context for Numbers: When using numbers or statistics, make sure there is the proper content. Simply mentioning figures by themselves aren’t impactful. Think of how you can present stats in comparison to something else.
  • Make It Stick: Consider the following strategies to make your talking points stick (which will be more likely that they’re picked up):
    • Use superlatives or extremes, when appropriate
    • Use metaphors or analogies
    • List items in odd numbers
    • Talk in triples (lists of 3’s stick the best)
  • Bring It Home: Remember that you’re leading the conversation and remember to always bring answers back to your talking points and core messages.

Although professional services firms often deal with complex issues, these content tips can help make your commentary more accessible and likely to be included in a news story. Throughout this series, the biggest takeaway has been the importance of preparing for an interview. Taking a little extra time to prepare in advance will make all the difference!

A co-founder and partner, Andrew has been honored by Bulldog Reporter, PR News, and Style Weekly. He develops communications and PR strategies that help clients achieve their goals.