Beware the ‘Back of the Lift’ Question

It’s happened to more than one industry leader – don’t let it happen to you.  We’re talking about the ‘on the way back to the lift’ question.  This can occur when a face-to-face interview with an industry figure appears to have drawn to a close, the journalist has closed his or her notebook, and the interview subject politely says ‘let me show you out’.  Then the journalist slips in one final question while waiting for the lift, and interviewee, now relaxed and thinking the interview is over, chats openly and says more than they should – perhaps giving the ‘killer quote’ which naturally finds its way into a prominent place in the finished article.  This is how the notorious quote from the Goldman Sachs boss a few years back about ‘only doing God’s work’ is said to have found its way into the headlines.  Remember, as they say it’s not over until it’s over.  (adapted from the book The M-Factor by Tom Maddocks)