So I just did an interview this past Sunday and I stumbled a bit on one of the questions. They asked me to spit a verse from a particular song I just put out and instead of declining because I didn’t remember the lyrics completely, I went ahead and tried anyway. Not a good choice (haha), but I recovered (after doing countless interviews, I’ve learned how to do this pretty good) and I think it’s a good time to talk about interview etiquette.
Rule Number One: Don’t be late. I have a lot of relationships with the press and I can tell you from the horse’s mouth. This is the biggest compliant I hear. It doesn’t matter who it is and how big of a star you are, that is a serious pet peeve for journalists. Be sure that when you say you are going to be somewhere, you be there and that you show up on time. Worst case scenario, if there are issues that are out of your hands and you will be late, just give people the common courtesy the deserve. A simple phone call, text or email will suffice, but just don’t blow them off thinking they HAVE to wait around and interview you. Look at it as someone who is doing YOU a favor and not the other way around. If you are known for showing up late, you will get a bad name within the industry amongst the people who you need to speak highly of you. Remember that.
Rule Number Two: Don’t have your manager or publicist do the interview for you. Many people in the press hate that. It’s one thing to have an official press release (Mel, my publicist does that for me when I need it and it’s a common thing), but it’s another thing to have a publicist answer all the questions a reporter is asking. If you feel as if you can’t answer an interviewer’s questions then maybe you shouldn’t be doing that interview.
Rule Number Three: Learn the art of recovery. When you stumble on a question don’t dwell on it, just move on and turn it into a positive. For instance, remember how I said I stumbled on the verse right? What I did to redeem myself was kick a ill rhyme towards end of the interview by first referring to the screw up “Don’t think I can’t spit ’cause I forgot my lyrics…” and then jumped right into another rhyme. See what I did? I used a negative segment in the interview and turned it into a positive. Be creative and think on your feet. Never let a slip up dictate the outcome of an entire interview.
Rule Number Four: Last but not least, NEVER say nothing you don’t mean or you can’t stand by. A lot of times artists tend to say things in interviews for whatever reason and then try to recant there statements. Once it’s in the hands of the media, it’s out of yours and you have to be prepared to answer for the things you say. It’s basically like anything else in life, don’t talk about things that you can’t back up. If you are adamant in making certain statements though just make sure you are ready for whatever comes along with it.
Now back to the interview I was referring to. The person was telling me that he thought about editing it out and I told him to leave it in. The bottom line is you are going to stumble at times and make mistakes, the important thing is how you carry yourself when making them.
Much love and God Bless.
For more on me and my music visit my Myspace page at MySpace.com/DonnyGoines.