Nontraditional interviews: How to prepare for Skype and Facetime interviews
In the new era of digital media, non-traditional interviews are becoming increasingly more common but for many financial professionals, experience with these types of interviews is rare. Whether it’s streaming a live interview through a digital platform or recording a video interview through Skype or Facetime, there are tips that financial professionals should note before participating in a non-traditional interview.
In this blog, I’ll address non-traditional interviews specific to videos such as Skype or Facetime. You can check out the second part of this blog which will focus on streaming live interviews through platforms such as Facebook and Youtube here.
- Familiarize yourself with the technology – One of the biggest hurdles I’ve seen among financial professionals in dealing with non-traditional interviews is their familiarity with the technology involved. If you happen to book a Skype or Facetime interview, it’s crucial that you have a full understanding of how the technology works. If you don’t already have an account set up with Skype, start by downloading the app and getting that setup. If you’re an Apple user, you should already have a Facetime app on your device. Either way, take the time to familiarize yourself with the technology. If you’re completely lost and don’t know where to begin, recruit the help of an employee or family member that’s familiar with the app. Before the interview, test out both calling and receiving a video call to ensure you know how to operate the program correctly.
- Microphones—Audio is often times one of the most overlooked details when preparing for interviews, but when it comes to recorded video interviews, it’s extremely important. Poor audio will lead to a poor interview and often times, the media outlet may find it unusable and will scrap the interview altogether. If you don’t already have a high-quality microphone, consider investing in one. They can range in pricing, so do your research and find one that meets your needs. This article has quite a few microphone recommendations that range in price and quality. It’s good to note that you should avoid using headsets as this doesn’t look as sharp for a video interview. Additionally, test out the acoustics in the room you plan to record the interview in and make sure there isn’t an echo.
- Lighting – Another important component for video interviews that’s often times overlooked is lighting. When preparing your interview, pick a room that will not only provide good audio and professional backdrop but one that also has good lighting as well. Dark or poorly lit rooms will result in shadows over your face or low-quality image. If you’re in a bind, consider moving a lamp into the room to help provide additional lighting. Again, test this all out in advance to make sure the end result will look good on camera.
- Look directly into the camera – If you’ve ever done a video call, you may already realize how distracting the smaller video of yourself can be while speaking with someone. It’s an easy distraction that causes you to watch yourself as you speak. Or, another common mistake is look directly at the person interviewing you. The best place to look when recording a Facetime or Skype video is directly into your computer camera. This will make it look like your addressing the audience or interview subject directly – otherwise, it will appear as if your looking slightly down or to the side.
- Look the Part – When you book a TV interview, most financial professionals realize they need to wear professional attire. But for some reason, when a Facebook or Skype interview is booked, there is a common misunderstanding that it’s a standard to dress more casually. While some hosts may dress more casually themselves, you should still hold yourself to the same standard you do when meeting with a client. Remember, you’re going to want to leverage this media placement after it’s published, so you’ll want to put your best foot forward and wear professional attire. Also remember – if your backdrop is predominately white, do not wear a white shirt but instead something that will provide contrast. You can easily blend into your backdrop if you’re not careful.
Ready to secure more media opportunities and the coaching you need to maximize your interview opportunities? Contact AdvisorPR to discuss our turnkey public relations programs that include everything you need from interview opportunities, one-on-one media coaching and placement leveraging to maximize your exposure!
Jill Jagelski Schofield is the Director of Public Relations for AdvisorPR and a former executive producer and anchor for an NBC affiliate. Established in 2005, AdvisorPR is a branding, marketing and public relations firm dedicated to providing custom and turnkey marketing communications solutions exclusively to financial professionals and the corporate companies that serve them.