After you have held a reporter's question up to the light to look for an easy way to answer it, the next thing you should do is rewrite the question to make it easier for you. Note: this is not the same thing as ignoring the question and saying whatever you feel like, no matter how unrelated.
The art in this process is rewriting the question to make it less threatening to you, while at the same time, not appearing to be dodging the question entirely.
For example, a reporter might ask you the following: "How do you feel about the current scandals affecting you and your company and how this may destroy your career and your company's future prospects?"
Seems like a tough question, right?
But what if we simply rewrite the question in a simpler fashion? "How do you feel about your prospects for the future?"
Answer, "I feel very optimistic about the future because."
Now, the rewritten question wasn't so hard, was it?
The skill is not in dodging questions or even coming up with brilliant answers. Instead, the more useful skill to have during interviews is the ability to rewrite the questions to make them easier for you to answer. When you rewrite them, you don't want to completely change their meaning. Instead, you want to remove the sting, but keep some of the substance. That way you can deal with the question at some substantive level without have to get negative or defensive.
So keep rewriting the tough questions until it becomes easy enough to answer in your own positive terms.
"I think he lay a lot of groundwork as a future corporate spokesman," says TJ Walker, CEO of Media Training Worldwide, a media and crisis communications firm based in New York. "He was contrite. He was humble. He was modest. He came across as sincere."
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