I was young, I needed the ruppies. It’s an old saying in the world of tech-nerds that describes doing silly things early on in your Legend of Zelda games in order to build up money to buy better swords, bows, and other things that you needed in Zelda. The first time I did an interview with someone in the press, I got caught of guard and said something wasn’t exactly what I meant. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but when an article came out a few weeks later I was surprised to see that the one quote used was the flippant remark I made; a remark that was arguably true or false. But not at all what I intended.
Later, I reviewed some of my high and low points from the year with a friend who was a district attorney at the time (due to her great judgement, she’s now a judge). She told me that in law school, they taught that when they prepared witnesses for the stand, they tell them to listen to the whole question and then only provide an answer once they’ve gone through it in their head. I did this for a long time in press interviews. And I should still do it. These days I have a lot of the answers on the tip of my tongue already. So for those I can just say them and then for new questions, I can think it through.
Not everyone in the press is exactly understanding or patient. But, I speak about Apple topics. And anything about Apple (especially security-related) is often spun to put Apple in a negative light. It’s a price of success and Apple seems to embrace it by providing free PR training to employees and being gracious. The press will often look for something to sensationalize. It sells papers. Or drives links. Or get social media love. But it can often put interviewees in the hot seat. So unless you know an answer to a question, feel free to take your time answering it. If you don’t, you might wish you’d ever done an interview.
krypted December 4th, 2015
Posted In: personal
interviews, leadership, Press