Lockdown has caused some strange ripples in the way we do just about everything in our daily lives, and this includes how organisations are being asked to interact with the media. If you are a spokesperson, or business leader in your organisation, now more than ever you may be being asked to speak to the media. Ensuring you have a coherent media strategy in these uncertain times is essential and if you need to speak to a journalist you may very well find yourself being interviewed in your own home.
Preparation, as ever, is the key to success. Here are a few tips for a successful interview at home:
Media Interview from Home: Be Prepared
As we said, preparation is key. It may help to write an outline of the key points you want to make – this can help to make things clear in your mind before starting the interview. You may want to have these notes nearby, but try not to look at them too often – you may come across as though you are following a script, and it’s good to maintain eye contact as much as possible.
Media Interview from Home: Set Up Your Background
There have been some interesting conversations on Twitter around the use of Zoom backgrounds. If you’re using Zoom, try to keep things neutral if possible (even if it’s tempting to use a meme as your background image). You may notice people like to talk in front of bookshelves. This may be a safe option, but whatever you choose, make sure it is not too distracting or cluttered. Whatever backdrop you choose, check and recheck what is behind you, in an online world people can pick up on the smallest problems and this could distract from your message.
Media Interview from Home: Warn Your Household
Working from home with other people around can be difficult, and interviews offer up a particularly difficult scenario to deal with (especially if you have young children at home). Try to warn the members of your household in advance that they need to be quiet and stay away from your office/interview area if possible. If you are interrupted then don’t panic, stay calm deal with the interruption as quickly as possible, apologise and then get back to the interview.
Media Interview from Home: Body Language and Facial Expressions
It is natural to feel a bit nervous if you’re not used to giving interviews from home but try to remember your body language. Posture is important – sitting up straight gives an air of confidence and professionalism – and try to relax and smile a little if you can. Eye contact is important, if you can, try to look at the lens of your webcam – this way they will feel you are looking at them as opposed to looking down. Spend a little time before the interview angling your cam so your head and shoulders can be seen.
Media Interview from Home: Always Assume You Are Being Recorded
Don’t be tempted to crack jokes or talk about how relieved you are that it’s over before it’s actually over! If you are sitting in front of a webcam, presume you are being recorded until you are 100% sure the call is over.
Media Interview from Home: Dress for Success
It is always worth presenting yourself professionally for an interview, even if you are at home. Dress in smart clothing and make sure you look neat and tidy – and don’t be tempted to wear pyjama bottoms with a smart shirt. You might think they can’t see you, but if you have to suddenly stand up for some reason, they’ll see it!
Media interviews continue even in these difficult circumstances, if you or your team need online media training to ensure you are prepared and confident for any eventuality talk to the Hawkeye Team today.