Television interviews can be daunting; however chances are that if we at Adverb have put you forward for a LIVE or recorded interview, we have 100% confidence that you are the right member of your team for the job. We have probably sussed you out and decided that you are best to represent your company and be the star of the show. We are also certain that you know your subject matter and can handle questions that come your way and get your message across as an expert in your field.
However, there are a few things to remember when you are embarking on your first trip around a TV studio. We’ve jotted a few items to help prepare you. From selecting what to wear, where to look, all of these things can confuse and befuddle anyone who may find themselves in the unfamiliar spotlight.
So here are a few nuggets:
Don’t wing it!
Most likely, we have landed you and interview due to a pitch to a producer or a press release sent to a journalist or producer. Read the release AGAIN, before you make your way to the studio, go over your subject, research and read up on latest developments. Make sure your message is clear.
Be sure to watch the interview and show that you will be featured on beforehand. Making yourself familiar with the host / interviewer/journalist and more importantly, the audience will make things SO much easier for you. Familiarity breeds comfort.
Assuming you were the interviewer, what questions would you ask? Sift through the press release or your research and know in your head what you would like to be asked. Prepare your responses based on those assumptions, but don’t overthink. Remember you are the expert informing the audience.
Be early, but not THAT early!
The television industry is often a ‘hurry up and wait’ scenario, so don’t be surprised if things don’t run exactly according to schedule. Make sure you get there a couple of minutes before your call time. Remember that these people do this one hundred times a day, they most certainly don’t want to babysit an eager (somewhat nervous) beaver who has arrived an hour early. It’s like arriving at a dinner party early. Not quite polite.
If you find that during the interview, the interviewer is missing the point, try and steer the conversation. Responses like, “more importantly”…and switch to your point. Make sure your message is concise and interesting.
Tell the truth
Above all, tell the truth! If you are unable to answer a question, do not fabricate an answer. EVER.
What? You don’t know!
If you don’t know the answer to a question or if you are uncertain what the reporter is asking don’t say “I don’t know” off the bat. Pry a little, don’t be afraid to ask to clarify. Then, answer what you do know and suggest that it’s a good topic to research.
Did we mention that we know you can do this? That’s why you are there, so be natural, be yourself, slow down!
Mostly, enjoy yourself!
What to wear
- Dress conservatively, but don’t be too boring.
- For men, a dark suit and blue shirt or light shirt – avoid grey or shirts that will show perspiration marks. Avoid loud ties or ties with small patterns.
- For women, wear a dark outfit in solid colours and don’t wear large, shiny or noisy jewellery
- Don’t wear white on camera.
- Men should unbutton their suit jacket while seated, button it when standing. Sitting on the back of the suit jacket will help create a wrinkle-free line.
- Most studios are cold and become quite warm once the lights are on, so mid-weight clothing is the best choice.
- Try wear contact lenses, instead of glasses. If you wear glasses, non-reflective lenses are best. We want to see your eyes, so avoid light-sensitive or tinted-type glasses.
- If offered makeup, Say YES! If you’re doing it yourself; apply a matte finish to avoid a shiny face, with blush and eye makeup only slightly heavier than normal.
Just before you go live, close your eyes and take a deep breath.
Sh*t just got real.