Stay cool, calm and collected, even in the hottest arguments. Lose your temper and you lose the argument. Let the interviewer look agitated and bad-tempered. Baffle him/her with politeness and reason.
￼￼￼￼If the interviewer interrupts your answer, raise your voice just enough to be heard, and continue. You can then finish your positive point. If he/she interrupts you persistently, just say “You’ve asked me a question, please allow me the courtesy of a reply.”
Do not interrupt the interviewer’s questions. It will make you look ill at ease and anxious to limit the damage. It also reduces your thinking time.
Use positive words in your replies. “Problems” are “challenges”. You are never “worried”. You are “aware of the situation”. Keep the tone upbeat wherever possible. If you want your audience to be interested, you have to provide the enthusiasm.
Keep your words simple and comprehensible to the entire audience. The longer the words you choose, the more people you eliminate from understanding your point.
Never use jargon – it is only a short form for those who understand your business. You may be striving to achieve “A Reconfiguration of Services relating to the Transformation Agenda” – but what does it actually mean to the general public?
Humour can be a devastating weapon (though obviously not during a Crisis interview). It can, in certain circumstances, be well worth showing that you know the difference between taking your viewpoint seriously, if not yourself. However, beware of being flip. What you consider funny, could cause great offence to others.
Do not allow the interviewer to wind up mischievously, or shout you down at the end of the interview. It will only be the end if you sit there and accept it. Challenge his/her final snide remark. This prevents you from feeling you have blown it at the last moment.
Always remember that you are the expert, not the interviewer. He/she has simply “cribbed up” on the subject. Do not let your opinion be undermined as worthless. Give your views, regardless of any attempts to devalue your comments.
Never lose sight of who your remarks are aimed at. It is not the interviewer, your family or friends, or even your boss. It is the watching public, who comprise your customers and clients.
Always remember the three R’s for Crisis Management: