Why avoiding the question doesn’t work.

Oftentimes, CEOs and other high-level individuals are advised to avoid answer questions directly.
Instead, they are given ready-made quotes (derided as soundbites) which they will supply when the interview becomes a tad uncomfortable.

Sometimes this tactic works because the interviewers might get discracted or not have the nerve to issue a follow-up question.

Other times, it may show the interviewee on a less than flattering light.

Here is what I mean. You will see BBC presenter Jeremy Paxman asking more than 10 times the same question to Michael Howard then a Member of Parliament.

Now, here are some tips when you are in a crisis situation.

Don’t interrupt the interviewer,even if you know what the question will be.

Do show that you are in control by saying:

  1. “This is problem which was the result ofReason 2
    • Reason 1
    • Reason 2
    • Reason 3
  2. This is what we are doing about it
    • Action 1 Led by me
    • Action 2 Led by VP marketing
    • Action 3 Led by COO
  3. You will be kept up to date by me / head of communication
  4. Contact information.

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