The Freelancer’s Pros and Cons of Participating in Interviews

If you’ve been actively promoting your freelancing business and demonstrating your expertise in your field, chances are that eventually you will be asked to participate in an interview. The interview request could come from another freelancer, a blogger, or it could come from a member of the mainstream media.

Often, freelancers are uncertain about how to handle such requests. In this post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of agreeing to an interview and provide you with tips that will help you prepare for a successful interview.

Pros of Participating in an Interview

Many benefits can be associated with taking part in an interview. A lot of these benefits are similar to the benefits that come from guest posting on someone else’s blog. Here are just a few of those benefits:

  • Increase Traffic. Participating in an interview can increase traffic to your own website or blog.
  • Reach a Different Audience. Interview participation allows you to reach folks that you might not ordinarily be able to reach.
  • Highlight Your Expertise. An interview allows you to further demonstrate your knowledge of your specific freelancing specialty.
  • Share with Others. An interview is a great way to give back to the freelancing community and to share what you know with others.

Of course, taking part in an interview is not necessarily always a positive experience. It’s important to think about the drawbacks of being interviewed as well as the benefits.

Cons of Participating in an Interview

There can also be some drawbacks to participating in an interview. Here are a few of them:

  • Reputation tied to interviewer. If your interviewer has a less than stellar reputation, his or her reputation could tarnish yours. Of course, interviewer image can work the other way too. If an interviewer with a stellar reputation interviews you, their good image may rub off.
  • No control over what happens to interview. Often an interview is intellectual property that belongs to interviewer. He or she may decide to use (or reuse) the interview how they see fit. In rare cases, they may even sell it or move it to a different publication.
  • Result may not represent what you actually said. Most interviewers only use a portion of the actual interview. While most editors are careful to retain the original meaning and context of your comments, some will not be so careful.

If you’ve thought it over, and you’ve decided that the benefits of being interviewed outweigh the drawbacks, the tips below may help you.

A Few More Interview Tips

Here are some additional tips to help you out if you agree to be interviewed:

  • Familiarize yourself with the interviewer and with the publication where the interview will appear. If possible, read or view other interviews conducted by the same author. Carefully examine the publication or news show where your interview will ultimately appear to make sure that it is appropriate for your freelancing image.
  • Include your biographical and contact information. Be sure to provide your biographical and contact information to the interviewer. Include links to your blog or portfolio website as well as a brief description of your business.
  • Dress appropriately for in person interviews. If the interview is to be conducted in person, make sure that you dress professionally. This is particularly important for televised and videotaped interviews.
  • Remain calm. A good interviewer will help you to feel at ease. However, even if the interview doesn’t seem to be going well try to remain calm and answer the questions you are asked carefully.
  • Do prepare for live interviews. Ask the interviewer what topics will be discussed and review some of the most current thinking and information that relates to the topic before the actual interview.

Remember that for many who view or read the interview, it will be the first time that they come in contact with you. First impressions are important, so be sure to make a good one.

What About You?

Ultimately, the decision to participate (or not participate) in an interview is up to you. We’ve published a number of interviews on Freelance Folder. As far as I know, the experience has always been a positive one for both parties involved.

Have you taken part in an interview in the past? What type of experience was it for you?

Share your experiences in the comments.

Image by visual.dichotomy