Telephone interviews are a staple on radio but can also crop up on television. Either way, if the opportunity occurs make sure you find a quiet spot and shut the door behind you. To avoid distraction, make sure small children and pets are kept well away and put a warning notice on the door if you think it could help prevent an awkward interruption. In case your throat becomes dry, it’s a good idea to have a glass of water ready. Hold the conversation on a land-line – mobile or cellphone signals are weaker and can sometimes drop out. Skype is often a preferred option so long as you have a strong, consistent broadband connection, as the sound quality is then much more ‘studio-like’ than the phone; try to use a good quality head-set if you have one, and for TV ensure you are properly lit with a smart background. Make sure you turn your personal device to silent so that it doesn’t go off during the interview – there’s nothing more embarrassing or off-putting than a persistent phone ringing in the background while you are trying to make a serious point on the air. (Adapted from the book The M-Factor by Tom Maddocks.)
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