During an interview, the journalist will want to control the direction the interview is taking. Leading questions, speculative questions, loaded questions… they can all result in a response you may come to regret. There are a number of tools and strategies for managing difficult questions.
One of these is to flip the question by using a key word in the question as a springboard to take the conversation in a different direction.
We have mapped out a few examples of the types of difficult questions you can flip and use to your advantage.
Question: “Isn’t it unfair to expect small businesses to comply with another regulation that will increase their costs?”
“What would be unfair is asking taxpayers to pay for the small number of businesses who will be affected by this regulation.”
Question: “The change in legislation to reduce the amount of landfill was ineffective. Why would this amendment to the legislation help solve the problem?”
Answer: “What’s ineffective is doing nothing. This amendment to include small businesses will ensure the entire community is being made accountable in reducing landfill; therefore making the legislation much more effective.”
Question: “From the recent polls, you would have to agree that the momentum is in favour of the opposition.”
Answer: “Momentum is a funny thing, particularly with the polls. It changes daily and it isn’t a true reflection of where our party stands in the minds of the Australian people.”
Make sure you take the time to be prepared for your next interview. From our tips above, keep in mind the power of spring boarding from a potentially controversial question to a strong and well-thought out response.