Having conducted nearly 1000 interviews, I’ve learned a few tips as to what and what not to do!
Here are my top 6:
1) Be Prepared
Never go into an interview unprepared without knowing what the interviewee’s intention is. This will help you anticipate what the interview will entail, and help you prepare your agenda. You will always be able to steer things back to your objective if you know what your key points are. It’s OK to bring your key notes with you for reference.
Avoid fine stripes, fine checks and white shirts, they don’t show well on TV. Best, dress shirt, color is blue. Avoid wearing green in case the TV crews bring a green screen for a backdrop. This is used to insert graphics during post production, and you will be forced to wear another person’s tie if you only brought a green one! If your hair needs a trim: get one! Your appearance is important. Drink a glass of water and have one on hand during the interview to ensure you sound friendly and clear.
3) Brevity is Beautiful
Avoid long windy answers. If your answers are shorter and more succinct, more of your interview will appear in the final production. If you overuse “Ums” and “Ahs” practice beforehand to improve. Be cognizant of not answering your questions with a question mark – it sends an insecure message. Pausing between your thoughts is acceptable and makes for easier editing. It’s much better than run-on sentences.
4) Avoid Industry Jargon
If the reporter doesn’t understand you, they won’t write about you. Be sure to speak in layman terms when discussing your industry or sector. Avoid acronyms at all times, unless you define it on the onset.
5) Stories Sell
If you have a story pertinent to the question, answer it with the story incorporated. This will make you memorable and likely land you air time.
No one wants Mr. or Mrs. Serious. Smiling makes you appear friendly, and releases tension in your face. It provides a pleasant demeanor, makes you feel more relaxed, and results in a far better interview.