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A Sample Interview in Which You Beat the Media

May 26, 2000
To beat the media at their own game, stick to one message, and repeat it, often. Use transitional devices to change the subject when necessary. Don't use any words you don't want to, and watch your non-verbal communication. A sample successful interview is below:

Local Reporter: It seems like you guys used to own this town. Now you've seen two VPs leave in two months. What's up?

You: We not only have been successful in this city but are really growing a more national presence. Our sales are up, our profits are up, yet we continue to invest in our local neighborhoods.

Local Reporter: But you can't seem to hold on to your top talent.

You: Actually, despite the tough labor market, we're getting great talent applying to work here. People from all over. This is a cool company, a good place to work, a growing organization.

Local Reporter: Then why did two of your top people just leave?

You: You should be asking, 'How did you manage to fill two vice presidents' jobs in a matter of weeks?' We fill jobs so quickly because though employees always come and go from jobs, and it's a tough job market right now, we're offering a job with a company that's growing sales, growing profits, and is a cool place to work.

Local Reporter: But I noticed your revenues were down last quarter from the previous quarter.

You: Our revenues from last quarter were well ahead of 1999. We made a substantial investment in our infrastructure last quarter, yet still beat 1999. We're growing and are really competitive right now, and making investments in the future.

Local Reporter: Are you investing in what you need to -- like salaries -- to stay competitive and retain people? I mean, didn't your VPs leave for more money?

You: We offer a great package -- salary, stock, great benefits, flexible schedules, telecommuting, large bonuses, a gym at work, a cool atmosphere. This is a great place to work. We're investing in our people, our growth, and our future, and you're seeing it show up in increased profits and lots of great talent coming here.