Congrats! You landed your first TV interview! If you have been feverishly scouring the internet looking for TV interview tips and tricks to master it, you have come to the right place. Otter PR is jam-packed with current and former network TV news anchors, public speakers, podcast hosts, business professionals, and more that have provided their collective insight to give you everything you need to succeed on TV.
Do NOT Panic! You have this Interview in the Bag
The most important rule of all in mastering your TV interview is to be confident. Keep calm and realize that there is a reason you ended up here in the first place. Not everyone gets asked to be on TV, and the reason they chose you is because of your expertise in your field. You have been talking about this for years and have probably answered millions of questions on your specific topic in a one-on-one setting. This is no different.
All the lights, cameras, and action in the world cannot take away what you know and YOU are the authority. Always keep that in mind. It will not only help you calm your nerves during the interview but will help you focus while you begin to prepare.
Preparing for Your TV Interview
That’s right, you need to PREPARE! Just because you know you are the expert in your field does not mean that you can go into this interview blindly, without background information at hand. You should be doing research on the specific network, show, and topic they will be covering during your interview. Doing this type of preparation will help you anticipate the types of questions that might be asked during your interview.
For example, if you are an expert in psychology, asked to interview on an NBC affiliate network on a prime-time evening news production in a segment called “An Insiders Look on the Negative Effects of Advertising on Youth,” you can start to make some general assumptions as to the types of question that will be asked.
In this specific example, you can prepare for hard-fact leaning, targeted questions with more of a liberal bias designed to make a case for the story utilizing your frame of reference. Come with statistics prepared to make your case under those guiding principles.
Look to Past TV Interviews on the Station, Show, or Segment
To further understand and prepare, you can look for similar segments that have been produced by the network, show, and interviewer to get a feel for how questions will be asked so that you aren’t taken off guard.
While being included as an expert on a topic will involve you backing up their story with facts, always try to keep in mind what is important to you and how you can benefit from being featured. What are your goals and how can you slip them into your answers? On-camera time flies by quickly and you want to make sure to take advantage of every single second.
Finally, put this all together to form some of the questions you think they might ask on the topic you will be referencing and prepare your answers accordingly. Then it’s all about practice, practice, practice. Sit down with a partner to ask you those questions. Prepare your answers and put in the work to make sure you are ready for the big day.
TV Interview Tips and Tricks During Recording
While preparation is key to success, possibly the hardest part of the interview is what happens when the cameras are rolling. Here are some quick tips from our experts that will provide the insight you need to effectively deliver your point while on camera.
Create a Personal Connection with the Viewer
There are a lot of factors that determine the success of your TV interview, but Otter PR Publicist and veteran TV news anchor, Ryan Bass notes that one of the main factors in being able to deliver key messages effectively is relatability and being able to connect with your interviewer and audience.
Bass notes that one way to accomplish this is through maintaining eye contact. “You can’t be looking off to the side… it’s going to be distracting for those that are trying to get your key message and engage with you.
“Whether it be on television or any other medium, eye contact is really going to be key,” says Bass. Even on virtual calls, your goal should be to maintain eye contact with the camera in order to emulate that feeling of connection with viewers.
Another item within your control is to limit the distractions that come with your appearance. Make sure your wardrobe is simple, a solid color (or two), and that your overall personal presentation is neat, tidy, and clean.
Once again, if you are on a virtual interview, the same rules apply to both your personal appearance as well as your surroundings. Make sure that the background of your video is as clean and simple as possible so that viewers can hone in on your key messages without getting distracted looking at all the knick-knacks on the bookshelf behind you.
Personality Matters in TV Interviews
It’s completely and totally true that being on camera can take a lot out of you. What that means is that your emotions and physical actions are actually minimized when on camera. You will want to focus your attention on being expressive and somewhat exaggerated. If you feel like you are doing too much, truth is, you are probably doing just the right amount.
Your personality matters. So make sure to smile and show and show your emotions with through facial expressions, speak with your hands, and use it all to create a warm, welcoming, relatable presence that fosters a connection with viewers.
On a similar note, it is very important to not get too comfortable while on camera. You want to make sure you are sitting up straight, on the edge of your seat. This will help you maintain energy and portray confidence to viewers.
Looking for More TV Interview Tips and Tricks?
If you can take all these tips and tricks to heart, you will be well on your way to mastering your next tv interview. Don’t forget that you are there for a reason, that you are the expert in your field, and that you have a whole team of professionals at Otter PR behind you.
If you are interested in getting more, in-depth one-on-one training from our team, make sure to check out our media training packages where we will cover everything you need to present the best version of yourself, your business, and your brand.