Mastering interviews: Tips for managed care executives

January 3, 2016

Tips to help healthcare executives present their most authentic selves during remote interviews.

In today’s global business world, and global news world for that matter, many television interviews are conducted remotely. That means a managed healthcare expert isn’t necessarily sitting in a studio with the anchor or reporter but rather on a split screen on Skype or from a remote satellite location.

MarinellaThis has become commonplace; whether you’re watching CNBC or "The Today Show," guests often are featured from other locations. This can be a new challenge for managed healthcare leaders as they prep for media interviews.

Between 2015 being declared “the year of the healthcare hack” by The Washington Post and the constantly evolving state of managed healthcare, the public is hungry for executive insight. But when you aren’t face-to-face, things often don’t feel as natural.

This article offers tips to help you present your most authentic self during remote interviews.

Before the interview:

Consider the journalist you will be speaking with. What is their history with the station? What is their temperament? What kind of questions are they going to ask you? Are they known to be hard hitting? Will they surprise you? It’s important to understand all of these factors in order to feel prepared and confident before a remote interview.

Research the news outlet or publication. When you’re working internationally, or even with a new outlet in another part of the country, it is crucial that you appreciate and understand their editorial approach prior to the interview. Who is their target audience? Does the viewership have any biases or political slants?

Understand cultural nuances. When you’re dealing with global viewership or interviewers, it is essential to conduct yourself accordingly. Are certain clothing colors offensive to your audience? Are there certain formalities or courtesies you should abide by? For instance, First Lady Michelle Obama recently caused some buzz when she chose not to wear a scarf covering her head while in Saudi Arabia. Understand the customs. Furthermore, be wary of using humor in your interviews. A light joke is OK, but certain phrases and terms can mean very different things in other countries or cultures.

Understand the interview environment. If you are using Skype, make a checklist:

  • Is your background appropriate and tasteful?

  • Are you in a well-lit room?

  • Are there distractions around you? A television, a child or pet etc.

  • Do you have an Ethernet cord available if the Internet connection is choppy?

If you are in a remote satellite studio:

  • Arrive early so you can feel comfortable with the chair and chair height.

  • Will you be wearing an earpiece? Try it on and make sure it fits and the volume is OK.

  • Become comfortable with who will be giving you cues and help you keep track of the time.

 

Next: During the Interview

 

 

During the interview

Sit up straight and maintain eye contact with the camera. Look right down the barrel of the camera lens, not above or below it. You want to connect directly to the audience. It may feel uncomfortable, but that eye contact will create a perceived connection with the interviewer and your audience.

Anticipate the worst with time delays. Though technology has improved a lot over the years, it’s not perfect. There can be a gap in the audio and visual delay of up to 10 seconds sometimes. Maintain that eye contact and be patient. Don’t try to fill the void-otherwise you will end up talking over the interviewer.

Count to three after your interviewer is done speaking or asking a question. This ensures that you don’t interrupt them or seem anxious or hasty. It will also help you to gather your thoughts about the question they’ve asked you. 

Karen Marinella is a principal and executive coach at Bates, a global coaching and consulting firm. Its mission is to help leaders shape the world.