Audio: Interview Practise Part 1

Just a couple of days ago, I recorded Sober Podcast Episode #169 for my longer, weekly sober podcast series. You’re familiar with the one-minute audios. These are longer, meatier.

In this episode, I am practising for an upcoming radio interview and I answer subscribers’ questions submitted by voice memo.

Usually i only put up an extract of the podcast and then tell you to go buy the whole thing and/or to sign up for the monthly podcast subscription.

But i know it’s the weekend, and so I’d like you to listen to this audio in its entirety.

i am posting the whole audio (15 minutes long) and i’m going to leave it up for 48 hrs so that you can hear the entire audio even if you’re not a podcast subscriber. So please listen now. right now. My only request is that you leave a comment. Feedback is crucial 🙂

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I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • I’d agree with what others are saying–the interviewer will help steer you if you get lost in the weeds in your response, or simply start to go into more detail than would be useful for the listeners.

    I also wanna say that I love it when you share your processes of learning with us. You have something coming up (interview) that you were intimidated by and you found ways to practice and get feedback. You didn’t just hope for the best or say “I can’t replicate the exact interview conditions perfectly, so it’s no use practicing.” Lots of tools, different tools. 🙂

  • Hi Belle! 1st of all—great job! It’s hard to do a practice interview without the interviewer because they offer a variable to the interview that can’t be known. I would think that they will guide you and I agree they will jump in during pauses. I can tell you from experience, they won’t let you give answers that are quite that long because they will have their own agenda on what they wish to accomplish with the interview. What I would do, is write out what you wish to say. You can guide them into asking you the questions you wish to be answered. Then just like with the phone calls–an interview is a conversation. I’d do it like a coaching call. Those are 25-30 minutes. You get across what you are trying to get across in those. This is no different. Look at the interviewer as a member on the website. Maybe that will help to relax into it. You are going to do a terrific, terrific job!!! Really!! I’m excited for you!!

  • You sound great, as always. When there’s a live person on the other end of the line, I bet your answers will naturally become shorter as that person interjects or comments on what you are saying. No worries about length….it’s better to have too much to say than too little. The time will fly by. Thanks for sharing your practice with us.

  • Thank you Belle. I agree with your self assessment that you could be more concise for the sake of addressing more questions. Brevity while still conveying the most information is a skill I strive for in writing . It’s a talent that would seem much more difficult to achieve in an interview! Just take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, and keep to the topic. You did fine and will do even better with practice. Thanks again for all you do, Sina

  • Hi Belle,
    Maybe less wordy but more succinct?
    The concept of self soothing is entirely new to me, soo interesting.
    You are AUTHENTIC and that’s powerful.

    • to listen to the audio, you click on the PLAY button on the far left side of the long black bar. there’s a little grey triangle that represents “play” – click that and the audio will play. there’s nothing to download : )

  • Hi belle
    I agree with what the others said above.
    The thing that shone through for me is your brilliant incandescent humor and honesty (when you said being locked in the cupboard, “that will do it”, I cracked up). I don’t think anyone would expect, or want for that matter, a polished concise response. Sometimes a little ramble just humanizes you which is why you’re so reachable and warm and empathic.
    Lastly, the question about “boundaries” with what you do was interesting. In formal therapy while years are spent teaching this. Your particular forum of being cybersphere based really facilitates healthy boundaries as it’s gives a built in “space”, you cannot be in trouble for kissing us inappropriately (that’s a joke!) and it just seems to hit the perfect balance between care, empathy and intimacy which helps and supports us tremendously

  • You are very charming, insightful and real with your answers. I liked all of your comments and am not sure how you would condense them a bit but I think about 5 questions would be great to be able to touch on more topics. Loved hearing your practice and thanks for sharing. You are awesome!

  • I agree with everyone above! But overall, yes the answers are too long FOR THE LIKELY AUDIENCE. The people listening in may not be people with drinking problems or they may have problems but are unlikely to have signed up to your program yet. So, the question is, what do you want them to get from this. It’s not a podcast or OMM which is guidance and advice for those who have asked for it. So perhaps, the point of the interview may be to generate interest in your program, make people aware there are alternatives to AA. Good luck!!

  • Thanks for the opportunity Belle. You are so wise to practice and prepare. The idea is not to achieve perfection, it’s to improve the delivery of your message and build confidence. So being yourself makes you great. Your answers are good because you’re a good storyteller and that’s the best way to get across a memorable message. You can work on your stories so they’re rich and at the same time not too long. I love your concept of self soothing. Would make for a great PH.D. thesis. Would make for the one thing to teach at every single grade level. You do a great job overall of engaging us in so many ways. I just read that people who are truly engaged in their recovery have a much higher success rate. I look forward to part 2.

  • The interview is good and honest, and resonates with so many of us. Don’t worry about the length, a good interviewer will help to steer you through.

  • First, I think that you hit on some really important topics in your answers here and that if this is what you’d cover in a real interview, it would be enough. Secondly, I’ve never before thought about the importance of being taught as a child to self-soothe, and how that’s what I’m trying to do when I drink. Lightbulb moment for me, so thanks for that.

  • HI Belle,
    It’s always a pleasure to listen to you & I enjoy your conversational style. I liked your response to Q2 about family history and environment. Though it seemed a bit long and after a while, I had to remind myself of the question. I don’t think I’ve ever heard maladaptive behaviors like drinking explained so well as a response to inability to self-soothe! One thing colleagues of mine do re adhering to a time limit in interviews: script answers and practice in advance. Thanks for sharing this free practice podcast!

  • You’ve nailed the hard bit- the answers are strong, and the more you practice answering similar questions the more concise your responses will naturally become.
    I’d say the key will be not to over-explain, a good interviewer will get you to expand with follow up questions if they think it fits in. They will be there to guide you which will make shorter answers easier. Practicing without another live person makes it difficult not to try and fill all the gaps hence you automatically say more…if that makes sense.

  • You are fucking brilliant. You just provided me with the most important AhHa moment in my life! Your answer to question #2 about why we are drinkers really makes me understand why I drank and how I will be able to never drink again. I am NOT broken or genetically flawed. I just was never given the tools to express myself(or allowed) or self soothe. How can I save that discussion to listen to everyday of my life?

    • well thank you for your kind words : ) if you really do want to save the audio, there’s a link to download just below the black bar player thingy. hugs from me

  • Hi! Your answers are very thoughtful. I didn’t think anything was too long winded, plus your moderator/interviewer will be another dynamic that you can’t really plan for but that might help with keeping it flowing. This is a huge topic with so many things to cover. My sense is that the more of these interviews you do, the more you will dial in the message to something more concise.

  • Hi Belle,
    I just listened to your “practice interview” and it was great. The bottom line is that no matter how many times you may “flub up” you are so natural and real that it is just part of who you are. That’s what makes you you and that’s why we love you so much! So curse away, bugger it up a little it just makes you more real and feels like you are sitting right here with us talking to us.
    Best of luck please keep doing what your doing!
    Hugs from H

  • Loved your answers. I did not think they were too long at all. I think your honesty and humour make you so unique and relatable at the same time.
    Excited for the next podcast.

  • Belle, its great. don’t worry about potential ‘flubs’, nobody is perfect. and don’t worry about going long, the interviewer will most likely interrupt you in a pause anyway.

  • Hey Belle, I think you interview really well! Do not worry about ‘flubbing’. It makes you human and your listeners will identify with that:) the way that you recover on your ‘flubs’ through humour is perfect.
    Good luck, you will rock it!

  • You sound great, but I agree that the answers could be abbreviated. Your responses are insightful, but if you can only answer one or two questions, the audience won’t be able to get to know you or what you’re doing (since there won’t be time for a broader spectrum of topics/questions). I was really interested in your response to the “personal involvement” question. I actually feel like you have very good boundaries…you care deeply, but you also know that you aren’t responsible for other people’s recovery (or slips), and you take time for yourself on weekends, etc..Great (mock) interview!