The Media and You
Media training at the hands of professionals will sharpen your ability to deal with trick questions. Whether you have had such training, however, keep in mind three often-used trick question types. These are:
- Loaded Preface
- Either / Or
- Pregnant Pause
Here is an example.
“Your leadership is unpopular. There is a protest against you. People say your policies are not friendly and have increased unemployment. How can you expect to survive.?”
Experts say the correct response would be, ” I don’t agree with your statement, but we will survive because … ( give a concise answer if you are sure about it or have an expert draft one).”
Either / Or:
Selection of either one offered by the interviewer is likely to put the interviewee in trouble. Here is an example.
” Your organization’s popularity is declining. Is it due to the protests or to the low morale of your team?
Experts say the correct answer to the hypothetical question: “Neither, misinformation has had an impact, but getting the truth to the public about our team and their commitment to improving the economy will change that. Here are the steps are already taken… ( give a brief list).
The most dangerous trick question ever made for television. Imagine yourself having just answered the interviewer’s question almost perfectly. You are positive about it yet your interviewer says nothing. There are doubts coupled with absolute silence and a dumb expression. The camera is still focussing on you compelling you to say more. That is what your interviewer wants you to do. DONT!
Your host is using what we call the pregnant pause on TV. To over answer the original question in order to open a new line of questioning. If you fill the pregnant pause it will come back to haunt you. Instead, look back straight into the eyes of the interviewer and smile.
The Seasoned PoliticiansThe Media and Seasoned Politicians
Chances are you are not grilled as much as the politicians are. However, the seasoned ones have mastered the art of trick questions. Observe them and you will see a peculiar trend. Such as :
- We didn’t do it
- Did it, but there is a good reason ( explain)
- We did it in the past and have learned now that it could have been done in a better way
- Those who say we did this are corrupt and did in fact it was their corruption which resulted into …. ( follow with accuse)
Since there is no substitute for preparation before an interview. Experts around the world have worked with leaders on this. Moreover, the stakes are too high, and more often the chances are.
When you are not prepared. The media comes prepared.
Asim Qureshi is the Founder of Starring Brands. A rare C-Level Executive also hired by the quintessential of Pakistan’s Media Industry i.e as CEO at ARY and Jang Group.