What are media interviews like?
Media interviews are a powerful way to make a difference. They're a chance to make your voice heard, to help others, and to shine a light on issues important to you.
A media interview isn’t like a job interview. The journalist just wants to hear your story and views. You can share as much or as little as you like, and there’s no ‘right’ answer.
If you've used Mind's services or resources and you want to talk about your experiences with them, that's great! But you don’t need to remember any facts about what Mind does.
Our media volunteers have told us that interviews can feel exciting and empowering. But there are often some nerves, too. This is completely normal! Remember that we’re here to support you in any way we can.
Our top 5 interview tips
To help you prepare, here are some top tips from Mind and advice from our media volunteers, Haleem and Emily, who’ve been in your shoes.
Tip 1 – speak with style
Try to be as clear as possible. Give short, snappy answers so you get your most important points across. This is helpful in pre-recorded interviews, where your answer might be edited down to just a few seconds.
Take as many pauses as you need, and pace yourself. But don’t worry if you stumble on your words. A stumble here, a pause there and some hesitation is completely normal. It’s how we all speak – so don’t worry. If it’s a pre-recorded or written interview, you can always ask to give your answer again.
Tip 2 – practice your answers, but try not to script them
You might want to write down a few bullet points of things to say before the interview. But try to avoid writing a full answer and memorising it. A practice interview might help you to feel more comfortable. You could do this in the mirror or with a friend. We can do one with you too.
“It’s easy to say, but try not to overthink it. Remember, anything about your story you can contribute will be beneficial – so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.”
Tip 3 – know your boundaries
It's worth thinking about any topics you don't want to talk about before the interview. While there's a small chance they might still come up, if you let us know what you don’t want to discuss, we can let the journalist know.
It's extremely unlikely that you’ll be pressured to talk about something you don’t want to. If you’re uncomfortable with a question, you don’t have to answer it. And remember, it’s ok to take a break or stop an interview if you need to. You don’t have to explain why to the journalist – we can speak to them for you.
“Although the journalist is the one asking the questions, remember – you’re in charge of the interview. It’s your interview. It’s your choice. A good journalist will ask open questions and you have control over how you answer.”
Tip 4 – get comfortable
If you’re doing a phone or video interview, try to find a quiet, calm place where you’ll feel comfortable speaking to the journalist without being disturbed.
Try making time before and after your interview to do something to help you feel relaxed and calm. Whether it’s having a cup of tea with a friend or listening to music, relaxing will help you to be mindful and present in the moment.
“Self-care is important, so I always think about positive coping strategies which will help me before and after media opportunities. I find doing a short mindfulness exercise before an interview helps ground and relax me.”
Tip 5 – pause and reflect
Talking about our experiences can be incredibly empowering and rewarding – but it can also be emotional sometimes. If we’re not with you during the interview, we’ll arrange a call to debrief after.
But remember, you can talk to someone you trust about it too. Talking can sometimes help to process what you've shared and unwind.
Celebrate your achievement
Finally, take a moment to reflect on the positive impact you've made. Sharing your story with the media will help us to reach even more people who need our support and change lives for the better. Because of you, we’re one step closer to ensuring no one has to face a mental health problem alone.