4 signs of imminent interview failure

Keep a sharp eye out for these warning signals of a reporter tête-à-tête gone wrong—and work to right the ship before it’s too late.

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Don’t fret, though. You can learn how to tune into reporters’ telltale clues and rescue your interview before it’s over.

Reporters are as human as you or me. Learning to pay attention to their subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) physical and vocal cues will allow you to work on your responses and messaging and keep your interviewer more interested and engaged.

Here are four warning signs to look out for:

1. The reporter cuts you off.

We all love to hear ourselves talk, and we think the product or service our organization offers is the most interesting thing on the planet. Who wouldn’t want to hear you explain each nuance for 20 minutes straight without taking a breath?

Reporters are usually in a hurry, though, and they appreciate nothing more than succinct answers that cut to the chase. They’re looking for pearls of wisdom and enticing sound bites.

If the reporter cuts you off mid-answer, you’re probably rambling on too long. Practice your answers to potential questions beforehand and work on trimming the fluff. Offer your key messaging points first, not after a long-winded buildup.

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