Never forget that every interviewer has an Agenda - please learn from my mistake!

 In an interview where I was asked to give a comment about a government initiative to support over-50's workers with an $1,000 grant to employers, I learned this lesson the hard way.

I did my research before the interview, and found the subject matter so fascinating.  I wanted to share my insights on the rapidly changing world of work and highlight the plethora of opportunities for workers and entrepreneurs over 50.

Unfortunately, I never took the time to clarify and articulate my agenda.

They came to my home - three lovely people armed with cameras, microphones lights and questions.

I hit the interview - they did ten minutes with me and filmed my insights and epiphanies.

The interviewer asked me one question out of the blue - it was a personal question - about what it was like to survive as an over 50 person, putting food on the table and shelter over my family's heads.

The question went right to my heart - my heart that has been through a tough year of grief, disappointment and challenge.  It hit a part of me that was vulnerable and hurt and that wanted to cry out to sympathetic ears.

I completely forgot about who I was talking to and gave a ten second cry for help.  This is the ten seconds of me that got onto the news. It backed up a story that portrayed people over 50 as being discriminated against, helpless and needing help from the government - euuch!

It was completely different to what I was portraying.

It was taken out of context.

It suited the agenda of whoever was in the editing suite.

....and there I was, supporting that point of view!!!

The lesson?

There's two:
  1. Always prepare your agenda clearly to yourself - articulate your objective to yourself in any interview, whether it be work based or media based.  Always be aware of the importance of whatever you say.
  2. Always find out what agenda your interviewer has.  What angle are they coming from? What do they want to portray with your words?  What are they up to?  
No matter how comfortable you feel, no matter how much rapport you may have with whoever is interviewing you, they will have an agenda, they will have an angle and there may even be someone in the background who has control of how whatever you say is portrayed.

And you have to live with the result.

"Look what they done to my song, Ma,
Look what they done to my song,
Well they tied it up in a plastic bag,
And turned it upside down,
Look what they done to my song!"

This is only the beginning. Get to know clarity. Email me, Mike Kennedy...

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