PR 101: Interview Prep 3

By now you’ve all probably seen the school bully video (if you haven’t, it’s above). No matter which side of the fence you’re on, one thing that will make your eyes roll is a recent interview that the bully did.

Being interviewed by a local Australian news outlet, the bully was asked by a reporter if he was sorry for what he did. The boy thought for a second, said no, and then glanced at his mother who was standing off to the side. After looking at her, he realized he had given the wrong answer, and quickly said yes, while rolling and rubbing his eyes, in disbelief that he had gotten that very simple question wrong.

While this entire scenario might say more about the boy’s intelligence then anything, it goes to show how important it is to figure out what you want to say before an interview. Walking into an interview without a plan puts you in a position where it’s easy to fail. If you want to be successful, you must figure out what messages you want to get across, and incorporate them into responses that are are interesting, informational and accurate.

Of course, it’s also advisable to show remorse in a situation where you were wrong…

If you’ve watched Inside Job, a documentary about the financial crisis, you’ll see that even adults with decades of business and real-world experience don’t know how to show remorse. In the film, CEO’s and executives of hundred billion dollar companies stand in front of the camera and Congress and claim that they did absolutely nothing wrong (it’s actually quite disturbing to watch).

So beyond the need to learn how to say, “I’m sorry,” this schoolyard bully and the many arrogant and greedy financial executives interviewed during Inside Job need to learn a PR 101 skill: how to prepare for an interview so you don’t come across sounding like a mean, evil person.

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