Op-Ed: Do's and Don'ts for interviewee during a TV interview by Rizal Zulkapli

Op-Ed: Do's and Don'ts for interviewee during a TV interview by Rizal Zulkapli

COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we work. The same applies to news anchors and reporters, where most of the TV interviews will take place remotely rather than in the studio.

Some TV programmes can be pre-recorded, and of course, there are chances (although very slim) to re-record the interview if things go wrong. But what about being interviewed on a live TV programme? Rizal Zulkapli, the AVP, Business News & Strategic Initiatives Actions, who is also the Anchor for several TV programmes at Astro AWANI, shares with Telum his top tips for interviewees to nail the TV interviews.

1.  At the beginning of the interview session, it is advisable not to say 'thank you for inviting me' as it will take up precious time. You can thank us before or after the interview, not during. 

2.  Do not read from the laptop. The anchor and the audience can tell if the interviewee is reading a prepared script and not answering the questions. Have points instead and make it sound natural. Do not read the long essay prepared by your comms team. Simplify the answers.

3.  Do not spend time talking about the history of your company unless the anchor / host asks for you to 'briefly' introduce your company. Keep it brief.

4.  Do not wear blue light blocking glasses. The blue reflection on your glasses is visible on TV. The audience will not be able to see your eyes. No solid whites or striped tops, too.

5.  Always face the window when you give interviews; natural light is good.

6.  Do not sit too close to the camera; make sure the audience can see your chest. The TV station will display the graphic of your name and designation. If you come too close to the camera, the lower portion of your face will be covered by the graphic.

7.  Different media organisations will have different setups. It is good to prepare both your phone (audio) and laptop (video). Just in case your connection is not stable, we can immediately switch to your phone and get audio-only.

8.  Do not use a virtual background unless you have proper lighting and a green screen. Check if the background is flipped or the right side. Call one of your teammates to look at your visual to make sure it is on the right side before the interview starts.

9.  Do not open multiple web browsers when you are on camera. Your internet connection will be affected, which may cause the video call to lag.

10. Enjoy the conversation. We know we will.

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