TEN INTERVIEW TIPS FOR WHEN YOU’RE ON-CAMERA.
“You’re on!” Hearing those words may freak you out; alternatively they may lead you to imagine that your thirty seconds of fame is about to happen! Whichever, whether it’s for a corporate video or for your local TV news, there are some basic things you should think about when, or preferably well before, being interviewed.
These ten interview tips, by the way, are the distilled wisdom from many years of being on the other side of the lens, so … please take note.
So … quiet on the set … roll, camera, here are our ten interview tips!
- Before you sit down, take a moment to check in the mirror and see how you look. Most camera crews will tell you if you have a piece of lettuce on your cheek, but they might not know how you like to wear your hair.
- If you wear glasses, clean them, so that you don’t see your fingerprints when they switch the TV lights on.
- Have a tissue in your pocket to pat your face if you get sweaty. Never rub, as it will leave an awful red mark on your face.
- If someone offers you make-up, take it; they will be offering it for a reason. For men, it will be most likely about taking the shine off your nose or forehead from being under the lights.
- Assume the cameras are always rolling. This is a point more for when the local TV wants an interview for the daily bulletin. As soon as you are in the presence of the camera or sound gear, assume that your expressions – both visible and audible! – are being recorded for posterity. Of course they may or may not be, but it’s better to assume they are than to say something stupid and have that little gem end up on the news!
- Choose your outfit wisely beforehand, if you can. If possible, wear block solid colours. Tight lines, stripes and patterns can be distracting to the viewer and can play havoc with cameras.
- Hold your eye-line. Usually, when you’re being interviewed, you will be asked to look at an interviewer, a producer or journalist who will be asking the questions. If this is the case, try to hold your eye-line as much as possible. Don’t look at the camera; ignore it and anyone else in the room. If your eyes are flicking around the room it is an easy way to make you look shifty and – even worse – untrustworthy.
- Practice ahead of time. Have someone you work, or live with to ask you the questions you think you’re likely to face. Just like in any other area, ‘practice makes perfect’ – or, at least, better!
- When answering questions, don’t ramble and don’t feel like you have to fill in the silences. Like psychologists, some of the best journalists will leave gaps that they hope you will fill often with unplanned answers.
- Relax and have fun. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?
Have you had an interview go wrong? Let me know in the comments or email me, email@example.com.
You can check out two recent interviews we have done here and here.
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