How far should you stretch in an interview?

If a reporter asks you to comment on something that’s just beyond your reach or expertise, it might be OK to answer anyway. Then again, maybe not.

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When a reporter seeks you out for a quote on an article they’re writing, it’s always a great opportunity and I always do my best to be able to provide them with what they’re looking for within their time restraints. However, what if the subject is a little bit beyond your scope of knowledge?

In my case, it was about foreign affairs, about which I don’t have a very big grasp; even though the question is related to my niche, it was still a little out of my realm of expertise. My question is: Should you, and if so how, tell the reporter that you unfortunately don’t feel comfortable answering their question/providing them with a quote, rather than researching your heart out, learning about the topic as best you can, and meeting their request?

I hate to miss out on opportunities, and I wouldn’t want this to refrain them from asking me for a quote in the future!

Melissa has asked a question that I’ve wrestled with as well. On one hand, you hate to turn down a media opportunity that can help you enhance your brand. On the other, you don’t want to stretch so far that you’ve bent yourself into a rhetorical pretzel.

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