How to Make Good with a Bad Interviewer

October 2003
by Roberta Gale

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Sooner or later, if you do radio interviews, you’re going to encounter a bad interviewer. Bad interviewers do not know that they lack the skills to facilitate entertaining and interesting interviews. Of course, life would be easier if the bad interviewer wore a neon sign that you could see as soon as you walked into the studio, or if they emitted an irritating tone that you could hear as soon as you picked up the phone. But alas, this isn’t so. Therefore, I present a few tips on how to identify and deal with this unfortunately common species.


Bad interviewers are lazy.

Bad interviewers rarely, if ever, do preparation for their shows. Their programs are a never-ending yawn-fest of ill-prepared interviews without any original thought. They rely solely on press releases and the list of questions that you or your publicist have sent. They may give these materials only a glance minutes before your interview–or not at all.

You must compensate for the bad interviewer’s lack of preparation. How do you do this? By making a list of the most important, entertaining, and compelling ideas you want to get across and making sure you get those comments on the air. If the host doesn’t ask you the right questions, you must take control of the interview and volunteer the information yourself. For example, if the host doesn’t ask you about the natural cold remedies your book features, finish the answer to a question…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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