HOW TO SURVIVE being interviewed
on live tv
It’s your 15 minutes of fame! Wait, is that ketchup on your collar?
And what did you just say? Oh dear…
1 Slop on the slap. You’ll be offered it, so don’t be
shy. Yes, that means you too, gentlemen: studio lights
are harsh and HD cameras are harsher. If you’re
offered a bit of powder, take it. No one likes a sweaty
interviewee: you’ll just look nervous and shifty.
2 Chum up with the crew. Woe betide
you if you upset the cameraman. The
person looking through the lens has all
the power. They can make you look great
or terrible. So get them a coffee (if the
opportunity arises), play nice, and they’ll
look after you. Ask them how you look. If
you’ve been friendly they won’t lie.
3 Speak slowly and
clearly. Relax; don’t
practise too much or
lay on the jargon with
a shovel. A good trick
is to pretend you’re
to your grandmother. If
she can understand it,
most people will.
4 Know your message and get it across. Don’t
lose sight of why you’re there. You must have
something interesting to say, or you wouldn’t
have been asked.
5 Use your hands. We’re not talking full French
mime artist here, but underlining your point
with body language can genuinely help:
a moderate amount of hand waving can
really get your point across.
6 Expect a curveball. Every interviewer loves one, and it’s almost certain to come towards the
end of the interview. Just answer quickly, turn it back to what you want to say and carry on. If the
interviewer persists just give them a quick verbal jab to the chin – they probably deserve it.