What NOT To Do in an Interview (+ 5 Things To Do)

If you’re looking to make a career out of MMA, then you’ll definitely want to check out these 5 tips for conducting interviews that my friend Yael allowed me to share with you.

She’s a writer for MMA magazines such as Ultimate MMA and MMA HQ, as well as fitness super site T-Nation, so she has a ton of expertise and insider’s experience to share.

But first, make sure you DON’T do this (unless your name is Rampage):

Now that you’ve gotten a little chuckle, let’s get down to business:

5 Tips on Conducting Successful Interviews
(Without Embarrassing Yourself)



By: Yael Grauer
Co-Author, In Your Corner

So you’ve sent out your press release after organizing an event, opening a gym or inking a fight. A journalist or media crew is coming out to interview you for the newspaper, a magazine, a website or TV news. Just like in a fight, while you can’t guarantee success you can always increase your chances for it. Here’s five ways to shine in the media spotlight.

Step #1: Develop Rapport. This is more challenging the bigger the publication but is always worth a shot. If a writer is one of your raving fans, they will go out of their way to paint you in the best light possible and keep the media spotlight on you. Ways to build rapport include not acting like an asshole, showing up on time, responding to requests for comment in a timely manner (even if you’re choosing not to comment on the issue) and if possible trying to find commonality with the person. It’s easy to tell if you’re faking the latter, though, so skip it if you don’t mean it.

Step #2: Plan your strategy. Figure out ahead of time what YOUR goal for portraying yourself is, that would work best in this stage in your career. Try to figure out ahead of time how you will respond to questions that are likely to come up.

Step #3: Stick to your guns. If you decide you’re going to call someone out, don’t half-ass it. We saw Meisha Tate kind of sort of call out Zoila Frausto, a bit of hype that fizzled and died. Maybe she shouldn’t have called her out in the way that she did since it’s not really her personality and she couldn’t stick with it. And if you’re not going to call someone out, don’t let a reporter talk you into it. Just make sure you have something else to talk about instead. I spent an hour once under specific instructions to get a fighter to talk shit about an opponent. He refused to comment, which is fair enough, but wouldn’t talk about anything else either, which made for a very very boring article.

Step #4: Develop a theme. If someone’s covering a whole entire gym or camp, they will likely be looking for quotes from several people on the same topic. You can have a quickie meeting to try to agree on something before the interviewer or video crew comes a-knockin’. No guarantees, of course, but it can help spin things in your favor.

Step #5: The aftermath. If you are deliberately misquoted in an article, it’s okay to call out the site but keep in mind that it might be the writer or the editor. I recently had a popular article published with photographs that readers said were misleading, but I didn’t want to run the publication (which was paying me) under the bus so kept my mouth shut. And editors sometimes do their own thing. Decide whether you would like to discuss this privately or publically, and whether speaking to the individual site or writer would be appropriate or you need to call out the entire website. The situation will dictate.

————– THE END ————-

If you found this useful, you definitely have to check out her book, “In Your Corner.” For more info, click the link below:

==> In Your Corner – Smart Marketing for MMA Fighters

And if you have any questions for Yael, leave em here in the Comments section and she’ll get back to you.

– Eric

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MMA Training
10 years ago

Rampage is one crazy mofo!!

10 years ago

love your articles.

here’s the rampage reporter hump as a GIF:

10 years ago

I’m guessing its the Robb Wolf interview on T Nation? 😀

10 years ago

Frankly speaking, Rampage has done good for himself. So maybe doing dumb stuff like that can get you far. He was good in the A-Team