Lockdown has changed the way we do lots of things, including how media interviews are carried out.
Over the last few months, we have become used to seeing most media interviews being carried out online. We’ve had an insight into some famous people’s homes, their bookcases and their pets, but along the way perhaps we have also discovered that we don’t need formal face to face interviews at all!
We should soon start returning to interviews where you are likely to attend a studio or be grilled in front of a live audience. We also need, however, to continue to prepare ourselves better for many more online interviews than we might have expected before the pandemic broke out.
The Benefits of Online Interviews
While the connection can often be a little dubious, online interviews have several distinct advantages:
- They’re cheaper. You don’t have to make your way to a studio, and you can simply use your workplace or home broadband connection.
- Because you are instantly available, you can respond to emergencies and get your point of view across in a shorter time.
News outlets will also be happy to come to you because there is little expense on their side. In fact, with advertising revenues dropping because of Covid-19, they may well be more prone to take an online interview approach.
The Challenges of Online Interviews
There’s a little more to think about when conducting online interviews than many people realise. If you’ve watched them over the past few months, you’ll have seen some good ones but also some that could have been done much better.
Participants can be lured into a false sense of security because they are at home and not be prepared for questions as well as they might be.
Tips for Conducting an Online Interview
First, ensure that your broadband connection is good enough for taking part in online interviews. We’ve lost count of the number of interviews that have been curtailed because the connection was breaking up.
With an online interview, you are also in charge of your own camera work. How you look can be just as important as what you say. Don’t have your camera too high or too low and try to present yourself as if you were talking face to face without placing the camera too close.
The usual tenets for preparing for an interview remain the same. It’s important to have your talking points and have done your homework about what you are going to be asked and how you will reply. Especially if you are handling a crisis, you need to be on your toes and ready for anything.
Like telephone interviews, it’s also important to have appropriate training. This can help you use platforms like Zoom and Skype and understand how to set up your home or office studio so that it looks professional. It can also teach you how to handle problems such as a faulty connections and how not to panic if something unexpected happens.
Post Covid-19 we have jumped into a slightly different media landscape. Online interviews, on the one hand, give businesses and organisations more options and easy access to news outlets, whether local or national.
On the other, however, present unique challenges. As the adage goes, practice makes perfect. It’s worth investing time and effort in learning, not only how to use the technology but also how to present yourself in a professional and clear cut way.