Preparing for a Virtual Broadcast Interview

As newsrooms shift to conduct interviews through video conference platforms, we’ve outlined some tips to consider when preparing for a virtual broadcast interview.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, workplaces across the country have implemented work-from-home policies to help keep employees safe and reduce the spread of the virus. Television newsrooms in Philadelphia and beyond are no different – with segment guests now asked to video conference into TV interviews from the comfort of their homes.

As more and more of our clients prepare for broadcast interviews via Zoom, we’re sharing quick tips to help when preparing for a virtual broadcast interview and ensure it goes seamlessly.

Confirm all details in advance.

It’s imperative to make sure you or someone on your team is working closely with the producer in advance of the segment. A few questions you should include:

  • What platform will be used (Zoom, Skype, etc.)?
  • Who is providing the link?
  • Is the segment live or recorded? How long will you be filming?
  • Should headphones be worn for better audio quality?
  • Is there a recommended dress code?
  • Who is the tech contact for any day-of issues?

Don’t forget to log onto the video conference a few minutes early (if possible)! We’ve all experienced technology issues with video over the past few months and getting set up in advance will alleviate any last minute stress.

Deciding on a filming location.

There are a few factors to consider when deciding where to film the interview in your home:

  • Film in a quiet, well-lit space.
  • Make sure the light source comes from the front. Avoid being “backlit” as that will cause your face to be in the shadow.
  • Your background is neat and doesn’t include anything too personal.
  • Use a laptop or desktop with a camera – not a cell phone – to ensure the video is clear and still.
  • Review José’s guide to minimizing network disruptions and testing network speed, linked here.

Remember, over the last six months, many across the country transitioned to remote working. It’s not the end of the world if a pet or family member accidentally makes a guest appearance. In fact, it’s becoming the norm!

Practice with a mock interview.

If it’s your first video interview, speaking with a reporter on-camera through Zoom or Skype can feel a little awkward. We suggest scheduling time with your communications team to practice in advance. Running through joining the video, making introductions, rehearsing key messaging and response timing can be a huge help.

On the day of, make sure to minimize distractions. Closeout of your email, messaging platforms, and mute your phone. When you’re the primary face on-screen, the camera will catch even the smallest interruptions.

Once you ace your broadcast interview, take a look at my previous article “Four Ways To Amplify Earned Media Coverage.” Thank you for reading our Insight on preparing for a virtual broadcast interview, and good luck!

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