6 Questions Journalists Ask During a Media Interview

Congratulations on getting an interview with the media. It’s a big step in a press and public relations campaign, and the interview is sure to take your business exposure to the next level. Preparing for the interview is your priority right now and to get prepared, one key step is to create answers for anticipated questions. While you cannot predict all that the interviewer may ask, you can go in with a good foundation.


  1. What do you do?

Depending on your story, you’ll want to answer this question about your business or about you personally. The media representative wants to know the nuts and bolts about your company. What do you create, sell, or offer? There’s time, in future questions, to address what makes you unique and why people benefit when they do business with you.

  1. What is interesting about it?

What do people often not know about your business? For example, what prompted the owner (or you) to start the business? What problems do you solve and how do you solve them? Consider what your audience and the media may find interesting about you. What’s your story?

  1. Is it something new or unique?

What sets your company apart from your competition? What do you offer that is unique or different? Where did that difference come from? What drives it?

  1. Why is it important?

When talking about your USP, why does it matter and how does it impact your customers? For example, Zappos offers free shipping and returns. That makes them somewhat unique in the online shoe store business. Why is it important? It makes shoe shopping at home a quick and easy process.

  1. Who or what benefits?

What are the benefits of your products or services or, depending on the structure of your interview, what are the benefits of your news/story? How does it address a need or issue in the community? What problems do you solve for your audience?

  1. The 5 W’s

Be prepared to answer the traditional news questions including who, what, where, when, and why? Keep in mind that it may seem that you’re repeating your information sometimes, so work to say the same thing in a different way. This is why preparing ahead of time is so important.

Finally, be prepared to comment on general industry trends as well as future trends. When you answer questions, keep in mind the story that you’re focusing on. What key takeaways do you want the reporter, and the audience, to learn? Prepare for your interview and in the process, identify the two or three key takeaways you want to leave the reporter, and your audience, with. This prep time gives you the edge and it may make you feel a bit more comfortable on your big day.

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Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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