Jodie Heisner

5 Mistakes to Avoid During a TV Interview

5 Mistakes to Avoid During a TV Interview

By Jodie Heisner

Jodie Heisner

Submitted by Jodie Heisner

A television interview can be a great thing for your business and image or it can make you a laughing stock. Here are a few mistakes you don’t want to make during your next appearance.

1. Looking at the Camera. Often people don’t know where to look during their television interview and it’s apparent. You end up darting back and forth between the camera and the reporter looking lost, confused and unprofessional. Look at the reporter. If you have a prop look at it while you talk about it. Leave looking directly into the camera to the talent.

2. Calling the reporter the wrong name. Come on folks. Do a little homework or better yet, just don’t say the person’s name at all. This has happened to me during interviews and I know it has happened to pretty much every anchor, host and reporter I know. This looks very bad to the viewers that regularly watch these people, and know their names. Your credibility goes way down with them and so do your chances of being asked back for a future interview.

3. Being rude and/or defensive. This goes for before, during and after an interview. I don’t care what the interview is about, how much of a hurry you are in or how much you hate the reporter; be professional. Pissing off the reporter is great way to ensure they pick soundbites that make you look like an idiot. Being defensive or rude during an interview just makes you look untrustworthy to the viewer. Kill ‘em with kindness is a much better motto.

4. Repeating or agreeing with the reporters negative question. This is just what the reporter wants when they ask you a leading negative question. EX. “Your company really seems to be in trouble right now?” WRONG ANSWER: “This is a tough time, but we’re making an effort to change things.” BETTER ANSWER: “We are taking advantage of this transitional time at our company to take actions that will make our business stronger than ever.” (then give examples of those actions)

5. Answering a question, when you don’t really know the answer. There is nothing worse than guessing or making something up that can and will come back to bite you. If you don’t know the answer tell the reporter: “I don’t have that information/data/answer right now, but I will find out and get it to you.” Call or email them with the information they need that day.

What are some examples of mistakes you’ve seen made during interviews? Send us some links of the bad television interviews you’ve spotted!