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Search Market Mentors

Tips For A Successful On-Camera Interview

Amanda Moyer on Mass Appeal

Broadcast interviews can make even the most sophisticated executive uneasy, but they offer the opportunity to deliver messages to a wide audience quickly and simultaneously. Since television is a visual medium, your demeanor and style are just as important as what you say. In addition, with the rise of our quick-clip culture, the packaging of information in shorter bits makes it imperative to be opportunistic, delivering messages succinctly and clearly in every on-air exchange. With the right preparation and approach, everyone can be an effective on-camera communicator.

Practice Makes Perfect

Nothing beats practice to prepare for a broadcast interview. Prior to the interview, run through potential questions you might face and refine the answers until you are comfortable with the responses. Through this process, you can make sure to communicate the message in a concise format with strong supporting evidence.

As part of the practice, watch videos of successful and unsuccessful on-camera  interviews to learn what made the interview a success or a failure. YouTube is a great source for videos of executives navigating the waters of friendly and unfriendly questions.

Try using the bridging and blocking method. This method steers the interview along your agenda by using phrases like, “the real issue here is…” and underscore main points with phrases like, “the bottom line is…”

Fight Stage Fright

Broadcast interviews offer you an unparalleled opportunity to connect with audiences, deliver key messages, and engage in dialogue in a polished manner that positions both you and your brand in a positive light.

It’s normal to be nervous before a broadcast interview. In fact, the accompanying adrenaline rush can sometimes help with alertness. However, being fully prepared will go a long way toward instilling confidence and reducing nerves. Make sure to arrive early for the interview. Get acclimated to the interview space and the surroundings. Focus on the interview as more of a conversation with the host or reporter rather than with the larger audience that will watch the interview.

Dress for Success

Conservative dress is the best option when preparing for an on-camera interview. For men, a dark suit with a blue shirt is a good go-to selection; women should also choose dark outfits in solid colors for best appearance. Men should unbutton suit jackets while seated, and button them when standing.

Most studios are cold until the lights are on and then they become quite warm, so mid-weight clothing is the best choice. Avoid loud colors and prints with small patterns, and large, shiny or noisy jewelry. Due to potential glare, contact lenses are better than glasses, but if you do wear glasses, choose a pair with non-reflective lenses if possible.

Be Aware You’re on the Air

Once you enter a room and sit down for the interview, always operate under the assumption that all the microphones and cameras in the room are on and recording the entire time. Be wary of what you say before and after the interview, as live microphones can still be recording. Controversy ensues when an executive talks into a microphone they presumed wasn’t on. If you see a microphone or camera, assume it’s recording.

Your Body Speaks Volumes

If you’re seated, use proper posture and lean slightly forward or toward the interviewer. If standing, put your arms at your side or put one hand in a pocket. Planting one foot slightly in front of the other will help you avoid swaying.

Keep gestures small and in front of you and avoid sudden body movement. Make sure your expression matches your words. Smile if appropriate and keep a mildly pleasant expression at all times. Don’t nod your head to indicate that you understand or are ready to answer questions; it may inadvertently be interpreted as agreement with the questioner’s premise.

You may benefit from coaching or having someone to help you prepare before going on-camera. We can help make sure you deliver the proper message to the target audience in a professional manner. Contact us today and take your first steps toward becoming an expert on camera.