How to prepare for an interview

Preparation is key:

  • Know your key messages.
  • Practice saying your key messages in answers out loud (the communications department is always available to provide a practice session).
  • Think in brief quotes.  If what you want to say can be summed up in one sentence, what would you say?

During the interview:

  • Only talk about the division's perspective, and always be honest. Don't speculate on the future or what your partners (health authorities or community organizations) might think. Simply say, "You'll have to speak with them to find out their thoughts."
  • Don't use jargon.
  • Never guess if you don't know.
  • Keep answers relatively short -- think 20 second sound bite.
  • Remember you are responsible for the answers, not the questions.
    • Be proactive about weaving your message into your answer even if you weren't asked the question directly -- don't feel obliged to answer to suit the interviewer.
    • Don't be drawn into speculation (for example, "if a doctor or patient were to... what would you do?")
    • Don't be drawn into getting angry or emotional no matter how combative the questions get.
    • Don't be drawn into providing your "personal opinion".
  • Never repeat the negative in the question (think Nixon's, "I am not a crook").
  • There is no "off the record." Everything you say will be on the record. When in doubt, leave it out.