The three of us sat around for 15 minutes, coming up with questions for former Vice President Dan Quayle, who was mounting a bid for the 2000 GOP nomination.
We developed a seemingly impressive list of questions, but I noticed that the questions all fit inside certain categories. For instance, some questions were intended to be “stumpers,” while others called for speculation.
That taught me an important lesson. Spokespersons don’t need to prepare for every possible question. They just need to prepare for every type of question. Below, you’ll find six types of questions reporters always seem to ask—and how to answer them with ease.
Many of our trainees get stumped during a live interview when they’re asked a question to which they don’t know the answer.
For example, a physician might be asked, “How many people are diagnosed with stage four liver cancer each year?” If she doesn’t know the answer, she might stumble before finally saying, “I don’t know.”
There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I don’t know,” but there’s a better way to handle that question during friendly interviews: Tell the reporter what you do know.