In this month’s main article, Camera-Ready at a Moment’s Notice, Emily laid out a few key points for captivating your audience’s attention with your appearance on camera. While this is the first thing people will see when watching the interview, there are a few other best practices to keep in mind while preparing for your debut.
- Live vs. Recorded Interviews – There are two types of interviews to prepare for: live and recorded. In a live interview, such as a TV news program or radio interviews, you must always watch what you say. In this instance it’s good to get to the interview location early to get more comfortable and speak with the host or producer before going on-air. In a recorded interview, something that will be edited or written up later, you have more of a chance to redo questions. It’s always best to be prepared but try not to get tripped up on mistakes while speaking because you do have the chance to restate your comment or to amend a statement. If you make a mistake, ask the interviewer if you have the chance to redo answers for certain questions if necessary. Most of the time they will allow a few takes but keep in mind time restraints that might limit your redos.
- Microphones – If you’re being interviewed for television, whether live or to be played later, the production crew will give you a microphone either by giving you a handheld or placing a lapel mic on your shirt. Then they will ask you a quick question or two to set your audio levels. Everyone speaks at a different level of volume and they need to adjust your mic levels for the proper sound. Once they test for this, always assume your mic is on. Even if you’re not being recorded, the audio engineer is listening to the levels and could hear what you say. It’s important to be cautious about what you say from the moment you arrive until the moment you’ve left the studio.
- Body Language – Most people can tell when someone is uncomfortable or uneasy by looking at body language. Appearing more confident on camera can be as easy as standing straight, trying not to fidget and maintaining good eye contact. One of the main questions for preparing for interviews is “What do I do with my hands?” This can vary per person depending on how much you gesticulate during a conversation. Try to keep hand clasped or folded in front and never put your hands in your pockets. It’s perfectly fine to make a hand gesture now and again when appropriate but try not to point or make dramatic gestures. If you’re still not comfortable with what to do with your hands, try holding a pen in your hands. It will give you something subtle to do and can help keep you calm and focused.
- Ask for the Questions Beforehand – If interviewing for a program or a video, feel free to ask the director or producer what type of questions they’ll ask beforehand. Depending on the project, the interviewer might ask you to keep the answers short or to expand on a complex answer. If you get nervous trying to think of answers on the fly, having the questions beforehand can calm you by giving you the chance to prepare and rehearse the answers. This is also a good chance to ask for clarification if there is a question you don’t understand or might be probing for information you can’t discuss.
- Word Choice – Know your audience. We say this all the time in marketing and it’s something to keep in mind during interviews as well. Depending on who is interviewing you and what program for, it’s important to know your audience and to plan your responses accordingly. Try to avoid technical jargon and vocabulary that might confuse your audience. Use layman terms so the general public will understand the point you’re trying to get across. If you know you’re going to be interviewed beforehand, ask your marketing coordinator or agency what key talking points you should try to incorporate if possible. It helps promote your business or products while answering their specific questions.
If you have questions about preparing for an on-camera interview, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 701-478-1111 and ask to speak with a Marketing Advisor or visit absolutemg.com/contact. Our team of video professionals has the vast and varied experience you can trust to help you look your best on camera.