Best Practices When You Are Interviewed

Another in a series of interview tips for authors.

  • Write up bullet points of your interview. Your interviewer may post these as part of the event description.
  • When you answer questions in your interview, remember to speak in bullet points. Don’t be wordy. Concise, clear answers act as sound bites that will be easy for listeners to remember.
  • Don’t worry if you say something not quite right. Simply correct yourself and continue. Most listeners won’t even notice. If they do, they’ll quickly forget when they realize how smoothly you handle it.
  • The same principle applies if the interviewer makes a mistake. Don’t try to correct them. Just respond with, “Actually . . .” and go on to state the facts.
  • Don’t be afraid of statistics, but use them sparingly. Keep them simple.
  • Use stories to make your ideas come alive for your listeners.
  • Tie your responses in to current events, trends, and news. Connecting with what’s already on the listener’s mind makes your message current as well.

The Series

January: Interview Tips for Nonfiction Authors
February: Are You Prepared for Your Interview?
March: What is Your Interview Message?
April: Practice Your Interview
May: Your Interview Environment
Your Interview Voice
July: Dos and Don’ts in an Interview
August: Best Practices When You Are Interviewed
September: Handling Negative Comments in an Interview
October: Wrapping Up Your Interview
November: Review After Your Interview
December: Enjoy Your Interview

Instagram New Features: 4 Potential Ways Your Brand Can Get the Most Out Of It

Instagram has been among the winds of change for quite some time. First, it rolled out a new algorithm, then it increased the video length and very recently unveiled the Instagram Stories feature. The new features could act as blessings for content creators and marketers as they get more flexibility. The increased video length and Instagram stories are going to be pivotal for companies and brands, and it’s time we decipher how to make use of these changes. Let’s, take a look

Instagram Stories

instagram stories

(Instagram stories received positive reviews with in hours of it’s launch)

#1 Making The Most Of Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are the latest major addition to the application. It now lets users post videos and photos that vanish within 24 hours. The feature which is very similar to Snapchat stories, which also cannot be accessed after 24 hours.

So, how can we make the most of this feature? Brands can utilize Instagram stories as a way to portray what is happening behind the scenes. “Behind the scenes” footage can add authenticity to other related content you post on the platform as well. For example – Cafés and restaurants active on Instagram post photos of their new dishes. Stories can act as a platform which adds a different perspective to it by showing how the dish is made or a vox pop of food lovers reviewing the meal.

Takeovers are very popular on most social media platforms. Instagram Stories could facilitate takeovers as influencers could put stories that are engaging to the audience. You could post a photo as a teaser for your campaign and then make users jump to the story where more content could be shared.

It is an exciting time for live video content at present. Instagram Stories might pave the way for brands to create live videos. They are incredibly engaging as well. Stories also give a chance for the brands to converse with their followers on 1:1 basis. Shortly, you might be able to see brands conducting Q&A session through Stories. People can ask questions through Instagram Direct and brands could answer it through this new feature.

#2 Beat The Feed Algorithm

Instagram recently added an algorithm which aims to filter the feed. This way, users get to see posts that the algorithm predicts to be of interest to the user. The new Stories feature can be very useful for brands as they don’t have to be at the mercy of the algorithm. Brands can stay top-of-mind on Instagram even if their content fails to feature in the news feed.

Experimenting with stories and adopting it early could aid brands in attracting the attention of their followers and ultimately boost engagement.

Video length

instagram video length

(Instagram has expanded the video length to 1 minute)

#3 Making The Most Of Video Length

Taking a look at some important metrics about video engagement, we see that videos between 30 to 60 seconds can attain peak engagement. You can expect optimal levels of exposure through Instagram can as they’ve expanded the limit to 60 seconds for videos. So, it is entirely worth it to invest your effort and time on the platform.

Many old-school marketers avoid online platforms like Vine and Snapchat due to its video length restrictions. But, since Instagram increased the video length marketers and advertisers can be comfortable as it is quite similar to television commercial spots. Short videos and pictures allow users to scroll through the newsfeed very easily. If Instagram had decided to increase it more than 60 seconds, it might have created adverse effects as users will start abandoning the feed.

So, how to get more followers on instagram despite these changes? The 60-second video length could be a calculated move from the Instagram HQ as it does not harm user experience but still give creators more time to communicate through their videos. To keep the users interested, don’t push the whole content at once through the video instead distribute it over 60 seconds. This way, you can attract more followers.

#4 Call To Action

Since Instagram changed the feed algorithm, the importance of attaining top levels of engagement have risen, and it can be fueled by positive calls to action. The former video length forced us to sacrifice a lot of things to implement a call to action. The longer videos open up opportunity and time to not just include CTA but improvise with CTA as well.

This way, content creators will be more than happy as they get time to execute a call to action that ensures the placement of their content at the prime spots of your Instagram feed.


The features listed above help the brands in getting more followers and conversing with the audience. You don’t have to worry about these changes at all as the tips listed above have got you more than covered. Happy Instagramming!

This is a Guest Post by Sandra Christie

Communicate to Be Understood

Communicate in a way to be understoodEffective communication does not just mean that we have said things well. It means we are understood. Here are a few tips to help you communicate in a way that you are understood.

1. Think and plan first. Before you pick up the phone, start writing that letter, or create a social media message to post, understand clearly what you are trying to communicate. Use wording that will be easily understood. If possible, get feedback from a trusted associate before sending out an important message.

2. Be specific and concise. Don’t get too wordy. Make sure you use phrases that are easily understood.

3. Use stories or examples to help convey your message. This also helps people remember your message.

4. Check to make sure you are understood. Clarify and correct any misunderstandings as soon as possible.

What tips can you share about clear communication – particularly in reference to social media messages?