Interviewing Tips

Faculty/Staff Interviews with Media
The Office of Public Affairs can help faculty members prepare for media interviews. Please notify OPA if contacted by the media so our office can be informed of your interview and keep track of media appearances and citations. For more information, contact Allison Matthews, news editor, at, or Harriet Laird, associate director, at

Interview Tips & Techniques

  • Gather your thoughts and plan how to explain complicated issues.
  • Convey messages clearly, concisely and with proper body language and eye contact.
  • Stay on point; avoid traps or baits; assume you are always “on the record.”
  • Avoid saying “no comment,” make positive comments about your work/area of expertise and the university.
  • Use proper body language and make eye contact.
  • Repeat your points if needed or asked.


  • Get led astray of your message.
  • Use technical terms or jargon.
  • Speculate; apologize; make promises; attack or lose your cool.
  • Fold arms or use excessive hand gestures.

Interview Transitional Phrases to Remember during an Interview

  • “Let me put that in context….”
  • “It’s important for us to remember, however….”
  • “Going back to what I said earlier…”
  • “What I really wanted make sure I get across…”
  • “The most important thing is…”
  • “That’s not really my area, but I can tell you…”
  • “I don’t have those facts, but I can tell you…”
  • “That’s very true. Something else that may be of interest to your audience is…”
  • “You just reminded me…”
  • “Let’s delve into that further…”