If the question isn’t right, answer a different one instead

With local press and trade media both struggling, the outlets for you – or another company spokesperson – to be interviewed are dwindling. Nevertheless, it can happen, often at short notice, and you should be prepared. Even if you’re being interviewed for an in-house initiative, such as a newsletter or blog, you should at least have thought about the approach you’re going to take. An inexperienced interviewer will leave you to do all of the running. Seth Godin provides one of his usual concise summaries in How to be interviewed, where he actually argues that you’re more likely to find yourself being interviewed nowadays (although I see no real evidence of this in the sort of sectors in which we operate). Godin makes the excellent point that “Questions shouldn’t be taken literally. The purpose of the question is to give you a chance to talk about something you care about. The audience wants to hear what you have to say, and if the question isn’t right on point, answer a different one instead.” Always remember this.