A Publicist's Guide to On-Camera Interviews

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Photo Source: Lucas Clarysse on Unsplash

You can practice all day long in front of a mirror, but when the cameras roll, you can sometimes get lost in the interview. Here are some tips to have a successful on-camera interview while appearing confident.

1. Avoid word fillers
Whether you’re being interviewed or acting on-screen, your “uhs” and “ums” are amplified, since the audience is following your words. These are usually classified as a sign of lack of confidence, mostly because they are space fillers that people say when they are uncomfortable with silence.

2. Wait three seconds
Even if the cameras are rolling, be sure to take a moment to breathe before answering a question. This gives you time to collect your thoughts, and it keeps you relaxed. If you’re flustered, it will show, and it will affect the dynamic between you and the interviewer, causing for a botched answer.

3. Follow the light
Be aware of the light fixtures and where they are facing. Depending on your stance, make sure your posture is straight and you’re maintaining eye contact. If light is directly in your face and it is hard to see, speak up. Producers aren’t going to mind adjusting it before the cameras roll. It’s only mid-way into an interview that it would become an issue because of consistency, so make sure you‘re comfortable.

READ: A Publicist’s Tips for Controlling Your Public Image

4. Jive with the interviewer
Keep the interview organic and fluid—you don’t want to give one word answers, and you want the conversation to be appealing. Also, take initiative. If the interviewer isn’t asking questions that are interesting, you can always redirect their question to hit some of your power answers. Power answers are answers that, when timed correctly with a question, encompass an interesting answer and a short anecdote about you that shows off your character and personality.

5. Keep focused
It’s always easy to lose your train of thought and forget what the interviewer had asked you, so repeat the question in your head a few times. This ensures that you remember the question, but most importantly, that you can speak a little longer and not get lost in the abyss that is your mind. Also, it looks good that you can answer a question that is asked without venturing too far from it—the interviewer will have you elaborate if needed.

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Garrett O. Thomas
Garrett O. Thomas is a publicist and Backstage Expert.
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