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From Nardi Media

How To Brilliantly Answer The Three Types Of Questions You’ll Get Asked By The Media

You’re one step closer to getting your message out to the masses! You’ve nailed down a fantastic interview opportunity on that podcast or television show you’ve been targeting, you’ve prepped your messaging, you’ve solidified all details with the producer, and you’re likely wondering, “What questions will they be asking me?”

Whether you’re being interviewed for your first podcast or your hundredth television segment, I want you to feel liberated in knowing there are only three types of questions you’ll get asked in an interview. It’s normal to feel nervous, but I can assure you that if you do your homework beforehand, you’ll skyrocket your message, trust factor, and relatability with any audience. 

Part of prepping for media questions (or really, any type of question and answer formats such as a speaking engagement or presentation) is knowing the types of questions you could be asked, which are:

  • Killer questions. These are the trickiest questions to prepare for because they are the questions you’d really prefer not to answer. They might be tough or uncomfortable questions that could possibly agitate you or even infuriate you. You need to be prepared for them nonetheless. There is a common technique used by politicians, company executives, and interview subjects like yourself that you can implement: Blocking & Bridging. This technique allows you to take control of a question and transition to a topic you’re more comfortable addressing. The key here is to “block” the question you were asked by “bridging” to another topic, using appropriate bridging language. This technique should not be used for every question you’re asked, but it can provide a safety net for those tough killer ones!
  • Ideal questions. These are the questions you want to be asked because they reflect your message. You need to be just as prepared to answer these questions as you are the killer questions!  The best way to prepare for this one is mastering your messaging (check out my blog post on this topic HERE!).
  • Google questions. While the reporter is googling you to find out about you, your company, your product, your situation, news about you, and more, YOU need to do the same! You might find nothing or very little, but there is also a chance you’ll come across things you won’t want to talk about. Make sure you load up on your news and be prepared to answer questions that might be formulated from that reporter’s Google search.

Now that you have an understanding of the types of questions that could come your way, you’re probably wondering, how do I prepare to answer these questions? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Here’s how you can prep ahead of time so you walk into that interview ready to tackle whatever question is thrown your way!

  1. Write down your anticipated Killer, Ideal, and Google questions. 
  2. Write your answers down, and then practice saying the answers to these questions out loud. When I am practicing for an interview, I usually write my anticipated questions and then write down my answers in bullet points. I then practice saying my message out loud and record myself on my iPhone or via Zoom. I watch or listen to the playback and self-coach myself. I sometimes have my husband ask me the questions and I’ll practice by answering out loud to him. The key here is practicing out loud because the way we write and the way we speak are two very different forms of communication. 
  3. Never, ever “wing” an interview. The reporter will do his/her homework ahead of the interview, and you should do the same! Always write down anticipated questions, write your responses, say your answers out loud, edit accordingly, have someone else ask the questions, and repeat.

Practicing and preparing your anticipated questions and answers out loud is key to setting you up for a successful interview, and will help you succeed in getting your message to the masses!

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Tracy Mccubbin

AUTHOR, MAKING SPACE, CLUTTER FREE

"The biggest piece of advice a first-time author is given is to “hire your own publicist,” but what they don’t tell you is to “hire your own Ashley.”  Looking back, I don’t know how I could have released my book without Ashley & her team.  We started working together before the book was published.  First local TV and small blogs and as I got more seasoned and the book got closer to coming, she booked me appearances on bigger and bigger outlets. 

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Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

New York Times Best Selling Author of Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin, and Free

"The biggest piece of advice a first-time author is given is to “hire your own publicist,” but what they don’t tell you is to “hire your own Ashley.”  Looking back, I don’t know how I could have released my book without Ashley & her team.  We started working together before the book was published.  First local TV and small blogs and as I got more seasoned and the book got closer to coming, she booked me appearances on bigger and bigger outlets. 

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Susan McGinnis

Correspondent, CBS Newspath

“I am so pleased that Ashley is embarking on this new venture. For many years she has shined as an outstanding booker and producer at CBS News and at start-ups including Clean Skies News.  She was my first hire at Clean Skies, and was the shining star among the pack. She has always had  tremendous dedication to her work, and an untiring ability to accomplish whatever faces her, letting no obstacle stand in the way of an outstanding product.  She consistently goes above and beyond expectations, and never takes “no” as an answer, and never settles for less than outstanding. I would hire Ashley again. And again. And again.”

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Jennifer Oko

Partner, Mad Squid Media

“Ashley and I have worked together is a few different capacities, including CBS News, energyNOW!. I cannot say enough good things about her. Ashley is smart, thorough, quick, creative, and incredibly hard working. Most importantly, to be a successful media liaison and guest booker, relationships are everything. Ashley is a genuinely lovely person, and she wins the respect and trust of everyone she works with. She is the first person I call whenever I need a guest booker or segment producer.”

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Margaret Ryan

Energy Journalist & Analyst

“Ashley Bernardi is a dynamic professional who consistently produces excellent results.  In my three years working with Ashley as the head booker at Clean Skies News/EnergyNOW!, I never saw her fail to complete a job she had been assigned – and complete it admirably. Ashley is creative, energetic and goal-oriented, a true team player who works congenially with other professionals but can also be relied on to execute an assignment on her own. Ashley is the person I wanted on my team when I faced a challenging assignment!”

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Hardy Spire

Senior Producer, CNN’s Reliable Sources. Former General Manager at CleanSkies News and Senior Producer at CBS News.

“Ashley Bernardi has every rare quality in a TV producer — aggressiveness, insight, creativity, a strong work ethic, and pure charm.  She has all this plus she’s a kind and positive person.  And she has great contacts!”

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Silvio Marcacci

Principal, Marcacci Communications

“Ashley is hands down the best media trainer I’ve ever worked with, and she uses her considerable producing experience to make clients feel at ease and ready to learn. In addition, her ability to book clients on television and radio interviews is quite impressive – be ready for hours of interviews if you’re working with her!”

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Mary Jordan

Washington Post National Correspondent and Founding Editor of Washington Post Live

“There is nothing Ashley Bernardi cannot do when it comes to media.  She books top people for TV shows and national conferences and knows the business inside out. I worked closely with Ashley at the Washington Post  and she is not only savvy, but great to be around. She is the always cheerful, smart voice on the other end of the phone who persuades busy people to drop everything they are doing and do what Ashley tells them.”

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Scott Behson, PhD

best-selling author of The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home

“I was a relatively unknown first-time author and Ashley was fantastic in getting my name out there, and ultimately booking me on national TV and radio, as well as major podcasts. She also provided top-notch media training and was always a great listener and advisor. Finally, she was on top of everything and we communicated constantly. I couldn’t have been happier about her efforts on behalf of my book launch!”

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Ron Friedman, Ph.D

author of The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace

“Ashley Bernardi is extraordinary at her job in every way. Smart, strategic and relentlessly energetic, Ashley is someone I’d want on my team in any public relations campaign.”