Advice for difficult interviews
Always ask the Press and PR team for advice if you suspect an interview might be controversial or confrontational.
If you are taken by surprise and an interview becomes confrontational, use techniques to respond positively by ‘bridging’:
If asked to speculate: “I’m unaware of that, but what I do know is…” “My research didn’t examine that, but what we did find was…” "I don't have a crystal ball, but what I can say is…"
If something incorrect is put to you: "On the contrary, we..."
If asked to respond to another person’s comment which you have not heard yourself: "I’m not familiar with that remark, but our research shows… "
Avoid being drawn into making comments that are personal or judgemental.
Never say “no comment” – it makes you look as if you have something to hide.
No matter what happens, stay calm. This gives you credibility and implies candour. If things do become difficult, by remaining calm you also retain the moral high ground.
Remember, you do have some control: Ask the general line of questioning in advance, decide what you want to say, frame some suitable soundbites and then do not allow yourself to be sidetracked.