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3. You actually control the interview. What? But he/she is

asking the questions! The pace, tone and really end product of an interview is in the hands of the athlete. If the interviewer is rat- tling off questions quickly, slow things down and give thoughtful answers in a controlled manner. Don’t be afraid of silence – that’s the interviewer’s issue — and you don’t need to say more than you intend to or fill the silence with “you know what I mean” or such phrases. If you need a moment, politely ask for a moment to formu- late an answer. If an inter- viewer provokes you into saying something uncom- fortable, you can redirect the question, even if that means redirecting the interviewer to a team staff member or an-

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other athlete; for example, “Maybe you should talk to my coach about that.” It’s okay to say “I don’t know” if you really don’t know an answer, or to ask for clarifi- cation on a question. If there is a misleading statement in the question, clarify what is correct and what YOU want to say right from the begin- ning. Make sure you leave the interviewer with the story YOU want him/her to have.

4. Be sure to have those stock answers/key points ready. But wait, didn’t you say

to be yourself? Yes, yes we did, but odds are you’ll get some questions over and over again throughout your career – the answer may not change much so have one at the ready. For example, “How did you get started

in shooting?” That answer will be the same three years – even 30 years after you started the sport! You should never have to fum- ble for this answer. Formu- late how you’ll answer this question so it comes easily and naturally – how did you start, how you felt then, even practice the way you’ll tell the story in front of a mirror or with a teammate so its de- livery is natural. Some other points to have ready for any interview might be: • What makes this sport challenging?

• Your favorite thing about this sport?

• Who do you look up to? • What do you like to do when you’re not shoot- ing?

• Tell me about the events in which you compete.

5. Mind your manners. Eloise De Wolfe once said

“Be pretty if you can, witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you” and she was right. Most any interview flub can be overlooked if you’re a gracious human being. Say “thank you” and address the interviewer by name. Look him/her in the eye when speaking and thank him/her for their time. If you show up sweaty and disheveled after a match but are gra- cious and charming, you’ll win over an interviewer re- gardless. If you can’t make an interview, call or text in a timely fashion, offer to make yourself available at another time if possible. We need all the advocates we can get in this sport. Remember, that reporter is talking to you because you made a differ- ence.

Being a family member of Team USA has it’s benefits.

Take advantage of partnership travel discounts.

United has flown Team USA for over 30 years, and we strive to be the airline of choice for Olympic family members as well. That’s why we offer discounted fares for USOC/NGB associated events. Go to to book your flight, or to learn more.

March 2015 | USA Shooting News


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