Don’t let your Skype media interview go viral for all the wrong reasons
So you’ve landed a Skype interview with a media outlet. It’s a big deal and a great way to earn some recognition for your company. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or it’s your first time on camera, you want to make sure everything looks professional.
Setting up a video interview might seem daunting to those outside of the broadcast industry, but as a former network news producer, I’m here to help. Following a few important steps and taking simple precautions can go a long way toward ensuring your Skype interview goes well. Below are some real-life examples of Skype interviews gone wrong, so hopefully you can learn from their mistakes.
Problem: Framing is off
You don’t want to be too close or too far away from the camera. Ideally, the frame should include your head (with some room above it), your shoulders and your chest. Once you’ve framed the shot to your liking, make sure you don’t adjust your posture in any way. Even small movements can instantly change the appearance of the shot.
Pro Tip: Watch programming from the outlet conducting your interview ahead of time to get a feel for what their Skype interviews look like. Take note of any graphics or subtitles along the bottom of the screen that could end up blocking your face if the shot is too close.
We all remember the viral video of a professor’s children crashing his interview with BBC news. Children… or even pets (see above) can make for highly entertaining videos for the rest of us to watch, but we’re guessing you might not feel the same if it happens to you.
No matter where you conduct your interview, make sure the door is closed and your family members or co-workers are aware of when it’s happening.
Pro Tip: As an extra precaution, put a “do not disturb” sign on the door. Additionally, consider any potential outside noises such as construction that occur during certain hours of the day and could become a major distraction.
Problem: Technical difficulties
Of course, something could go wrong that’s out of your control. It happens. During a Skype interview with CNN, this man was flooded with phone calls that we can assume he did not plan for.
If your internet fails, your audio cuts out, or you mess up a response, try not to panic. If it’s a technical glitch, allow the person interviewing you to take charge and lead you through the issue. If you stumble while talking or feel unprepared to answer a question, take a deep breath and steer the conversation back to a topic you know.
Pro Tip: This is where practice comes in handy. Your friends at Gregory FCA are always available to do test calls ahead of time to troubleshoot any issues and put you at ease, but you can also utilize family members or co-workers to help you rehearse.
Now you’ve seen what can go wrong, but what does a successful Skype interview look like? Below are some examples of Gregory FCA clients displaying nicely framed shots, good lighting and dynamic, uncluttered backgrounds. Take note of how they look directly at the camera at eye-level.
For a complete step-by-step guide to setting up a flawless Skype interview, watch our how-to video. At Gregory FCA, we believe with the right tools, anyone can make a Skype interview look professional without breaking the bank. But if you want to take things up a notch, here are some products we recommend: