I was interviewed this evening on the cost of mental stress by Your Rights at Night on Radio Adelaide. The podcast is now available HERE.
I have listened back to this interview this morning and have some advice for other OHS professionals who may find themselves in a similar situation.
Insist on seeing the interview questions prior to the interview. I asked for this but the questions weren’t available. Colleagues have advised me to refuse the interview if this occurs again as there is a risk of being trapped in a discussion that is very different from what was expected.
If the questions aren’t available, ask for the core theme of the interview so that topic parameters are established earl in the process.
I was advised to not be afraid of silence when being interviewed on the radio as this allows one to think before answering. Those who listened to the interview will know that I struggled with this pacing. It clearly needs to be practiced.
I found it useful to have a photo of the interviewer in front of me during the interview so that I could direct my answers to more than a disembodied voice. The photo was available on the radio program’s website.
I knew that the interview was generated from my article from earlier this week so I re-read the article a number of times and highlighted what I thought were the salient points. This helped but as soon as a question came from “outside” the article, my pre-interview reading was irrelevant.
I also benefited from familiarising myself with the radio program prior to the interview so that I knew it was based around trade union membership and audience.
It was also good to listen to the radio program for about 10 minutes prior to the interview so that I was aware of the previous interviews and could understand the banter between the radio show hosts. It was useful to determine the tone of the program prior to the interview.
I am pleased with some of the points I was able to raise in last night’s interview, particularly about the need to be fit for work mentally as well as physically. But my presentation skills clearly need practice. It is a challenge to find the balance between speaking comfortably and being over-prepared. Clearly I am a work in progress.