Recorded vs. Live Interviews: What’s The Difference?

Public Relations

How to Successfully Prepare to be a Financial Advisor On The News

Many of us have experience in front of a camera, but have you ever experienced live TV? While any on-camera opportunities are notable and help improve your on-camera presence, if you’ve never experienced a live TV interview, then you could easily make the common mistake of assuming both scenarios are essentially the same. Live TV is a whole other ball game, requiring a different set of skills and typically a lot more preparation.

Before making your first live TV appearance, consider the following differences as you prepare for your interview:

Time constraints: Live television interviews are typically anywhere between 3-5 minutes and, while that may sound like more than enough time, it will fly by quicker than you expect. For this reason, it is important to be conscientious of time and the length of your answers. Spending too much time answering the first question will leave you rushing through your last few talking points. I typically recommend spending no more than 30 seconds answering each question, but this can vary depending on the amount of content you are trying to deliver and time allotted for your segment. When practicing for your interview, try timing your answers to give you a better idea of how long it takes to answer the different questions that will be asked.

Recover rather than start over: The art of the recovery is one of the most important but difficult skills to master for live TV. If you’re used to recorded interviews, then you’ve more than likely run into situations where you misspoke, stuttered or just plain messed up. The beauty of a recorded interview is that you have the opportunity to start over so that you can nail your answer and deliver your content in the best way possible. However, with a live TV interview, this luxury doesn’t exist.

While it can be difficult to practice how to recover in these scenarios, if you find yourself in this situation remember to remain calm. Ideally, you want to draw as little attention to the mistake as possible and panicking while on live TV is the worst ways to react. Depending on your mistake, there are several ways to recover gracefully including; power through the mistake and finish answer with a concise and clear explanation, saying “excuse me” and re-phrasing your answer, or taking a brief pause to gather your thoughts and reorganize your response. Don’t be afraid to take a second if you find yourself in this situation.

Studio experience: Appearing live in-studio can be an overwhelming experience for first-timers. Before, you may have been interviewed in your office or at a conference. When you appear in studio, you get the full effect. Literally—lights, camera and action! Don’t let this intimidate you.

While you may not know what to expect, try your best to go with the flow and, when in doubt, ask questions. If you’re unsure where to look or what camera to address, simply ask either the producer, anchor or floor director during the commercial (keep in mind they are busy and moving quickly during these breaks, so try to keep your questions quick, relevant and to the point).

Eliminate the stress and maximize the benefits of your live television opportunity by showing up prepared; you don’t have to do it alone! AdvisorPR not only facilitates media opportunities, but we also help you prepare with talking points, experienced media coaching, one-on-one support and a presence at your interview if needed. TV interviews are a great way to share your expertise and build your credibility. Get in front of the camera and clients with the AdvisorPR In The News Program. To learn more, call (866) 888–5333 or email us at

Stay Connected

Join our newsletter to get useful tips and valuable resources delivered to your inbox monthly!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.