Media Training Blog from Women Media Pros |

  Home      323-899-3883      pros@WomenMediaPros 

Media Training: Interview Types

  October 10, 2023

If you haven't done many TV interviews you may assume they are all pretty much alike.  They are not.  Sometimes as an interview subject you'll have input into the type of interview to be conducted.  More likely the journalist will decide.  Of course you can always decide not to do the interview in the first place, but is that serving your best interest?

One of the first considerations is whether the interview will be live or taped. There are benefits to both.  If you sit for a live TV interview, your sound bites will not be edited.  That's important because sometimes when a journalist edits taped sound bites for time, the essence of what you wanted to say will be lost.  The downside of a live interview is that, for some interviewees, it adds to their anxiety.
If you flub an answer live you don't get a do-over.  If you make a mistake during a taped interview you can ask the journalist if you can start again, and most will go along with that.

If your company is facing a crisis, you should anticipate hardball questions whether the interview is live or taped.  Even a journalist who has been easy on you in past interviews, will not hold back if the situation warrants it.  If a local station is doing a feature on your grand opening, it's likely you will face only softball questions.  In either case you need to be prepared by doing a mock interview with either your in-house communications team or an outside media trainer.  In the crisis scenario you'll be trying to mitigate the damage and change the narrative.  In the feature scenario, you'll have the opportunity to promote your business to a wider audience.  It's not a free commercial but it can come close in some TV markets.

If the interview is taking place at your business, be cognizant of your background.  TV is obviously a visual medium so keep that in mind when deciding where to set up.  Sometimes a reporter will opt for a "walk & talk" with you.  You'll walk alongside the reporter as she asks you questions.  This can have a very natural feel as if you are having a conversation with a friend during a walk.  You'll be looking at her but also keeping a track of where you are walking so you don't trip.

What should you expect if your interview is to take place at a TV studio?  You could be sitting next to an anchor at the anchor desk.  In that case, look at him and not directly into the camera.  You might be put in a flash studio while the anchor is located in the main studio.  In this case you will look directly into your camera.  A floor director may cue you or you may be taking directions only via an earpiece known as an IFB.  

The worst type of interview is the ambush.  An example: a reporter with videographer shows up outside your business as you are leaving for the day.  They shout questions at you while following you to your car.  Still worse would be a group of journalists and crews popping up. You'd be tempted to rush past them and show your anger.  A better option is to stall for time.  You could say, "we're looking into that and will have a statement later."  You are not saying much but it doesn't appear like you are hiding either.  This approach gives your team time to think and provide a more detailed statement when you are ready.  Hopefully your business will never experience the type of crisis that results in an ambush interview.


Leave a Comment

Notify me of new Comments via email.
Notify me of new Posts via email.

Search Blog


Subscribe to Blog




Alex Rodriguez Always packaging Amazon slavery AMC Movie Theater AMC Theaters apologies Back to work BBC Bella Shaw Bilingual media training Bilingual news conferences Brand management Chipotle Chris Christie CNN Coca-Cola Coronavirus Corporate Communications COVID concerns Crisis Communications Cristiano Ronaldo Cryptocurrency Cub Scouts Debates DNC Donna Karen Dunkin Donuts Emma Watson Flint FTX Garth Brooks Gayle King Harvey Weinstein Hawaii missile threat Help for Small Businesses Hooters Houston Astros Inclusivity Instagram eavesdropping internal communications Jeffrey Lord Joe Rogan John McCain John Stamos Justine Ruszczyk Kaley Cuoco Kanye West Kardashian Kevin Spacey Lara Spencer Law Enforcement Lawrence O'Donnell live streaming Louis C.K. marginalized Maui fires me too Media media relations Media Training Megan and Harry Messaging MGM Minneapolis police shooting Mooch Naomi Osaka News conferences Olympics Oprah interview PBS Fireworks Pokemon Go politicians President Biden Press conferences Prince George Public Relations Red Cross RNC Robert Kennedy Jr. Royal family Saatchi & Saatchi Scaramucci social media sound bites Storytelling Suzanne Spurgeon The French Open The Gap The Panama Papers Tide pod challenge TV interviews Twitter Twitter bullying United Airlines Vanity Fair cover Video Production White Castle Whoopi woke Women Media Pros Ye Yuri Gurriel
Providing  MEDIA TRAINING services in: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Milwaukee and cities worldwide
Call:  323-899-3883    Email: pros@WomenMediaPros 

Copyright © 2021 Women Media Pros