Reporters love to interrupt someone who is in the middle of delivering a key message. Interruptions give control of the interview to the reporter and they really like that. If you are being questioned by a reporter, it’s your job to not let interruptions happen because you want to be in control of the interview.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner seemed to understand that when he was recently interviewed by Chris Wallace of Fox News about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Warner was answering a question when Wallace aggressively tried to interrupt him. Warner would have none of it:

Warner won this verbal tug-of-war by continuing with his answer and refusing to allow Wallace to break in. Warner could have handled it another way and said, “Chris, let me finish this thought before I take your next question.” Either way works and allows the interviewee to maintain control of the message. Warner’s determined strategy sent a clear signal to Wallace, who did not try to interrupt the senator again.