Having conducted hundreds and hundreds of on camera interviews, we have seen it all. From tongue-tied politicians to rambling guests, we understand what it takes to give a good interview. We also appreciate that being filmed can be daunting. Don’t worry, even the most experienced of TV presenters and news readers can feel self conscious and make mistakes. That’s what editing is for! To guide you on your way, here are a few tips for interviews that we hope you find helpful.
Only 7 % of communication is about the words we say. If you’re seen on camera, it’s as much about how you say it as what you say. Be yourself.
Understand the broad subject areas that you will need to talk about. Prepare a little but don’t over rehearse answers as this could make you look wooden or be very difficult to deliver convincingly.
Listen carefully to the interviewers questions. Often it is helpful if you can incorporate the question into your answer.
Don’t try to say everything all at once. A few key points summed up succinctly can have a great impact.
Think of the interview as a chat/conversation, not a series of mini presentations.
Don’t get bogged down by trying to remember complex statistics and facts. After all who talks like that in real life? A couple of real stand out figures are ok.
Relax, you don’t need worry. A good interviewer will draw that best answers from you.
Remember, footage is often edited so even if everything that you say is amazing, it’s unlikely that it will all be used.
Understand what the interviewer is looking for. How long is the final film. What are they likely to need from you. Don’t be afraid to ask what they need.
Give some thought to where you will be filmed. A plain white boardroom is not always the most interesting of location. If it’s a head and shoulder interview, imagine how dull the shot might be. A good crew will usually advise and will take into account sound, light and interesting backdrops so give them a few options.
In terms of clothing bright bold colours stand out nicely on film.
If you’re wearing a suit or jacket and are sitting down, pull it down or sit on the back of it so that the shoulders don’t bunch up.
Ask the crew if you look ok. Is your tie straight, hair tidy, etc. It will only annoy you if you don’t.
Be prepared for the crew to ask you to do things more than once. It doesn’t mean that you have done anything wrong. They may just need options.
Too much makeup can be distracting and is not necessary. Keep it to your own natural look.
Assuming the interview is edited, feel free to pause, ask questions, have a drink if you need to.
As you relax into the interview, often your answers will get better. Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer if you can repeat some key points again at the end.
When you finally see yourself onscreen, it may seem strange. Don’t panic. Very few people like how they look and sound. We are our own worst critics.
(Note, these tips assume that you have invited the cameras in. Advice for a more demanding news style interview where you have less control may differ somewhat! Give us a call if you need support or training in this)