How Do I Prepare for a Satellite Interview

BY TJ Walker

Thanks to Internet technology and its low cost, it’s never been easier or more likely for you to do a satellite remote interview. I do them all the time now. For most people, this is the hardest type of interview to do because it is such a strange environment: you can’t see anyone, you have to stare at a camera across a room, you are listening to someone speak through an earpiece, and you may be distracted by seeing a TV screen of yourself to your right or your left.

Here are the most common blunders people makes when do a remote TV interview:

  1. Your head becomes frozen, thus making you look scared.
  2. Your hands become frozen, this making you look stiff.
  3. Eyes dart sideways or up and over and that makes you look nervous and scared.
  4. Face becomes blank, this making you look nervous and uncomfortable.
  5. Not being able to see reactions and body language from the interviewer throws off timing and becomes disorienting.

If you want to excel at satellite TV interviews, then you need to keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Continue to move your head in a full range-left to right—and forward and backward manner in order to seem comfortable.
  2. Move your hands in order to look confident.
  3. Lean forward 15 degrees toward the camera.
  4. Don’t swivel in your chair or more from the waist down.
  5. Try not to sit behind a desk, but if you do, don’t lean on the desk or table.
  6. Don’t dart your eyes; instead look at the camera.
  7. To make your eyes appear less glassy, move your eyes from left to right from one side of the camera lens to the other (this is a small, subtle changes, but it can make your eyes seem more alive)
  8. Smile a little when you are not talking.
  9. Smile a little even when you are talking.
  10. Make sure your earpiece (the IFB) fits snuggly in your ear before you start then interview.
  11. If the earpiece falls out during the interview, simply pace it back in after you have finished speaking a sentence or while the host is talking.

When you are being interviewed remotely by a reporter or anchor form another location, it’s natural to feel disoriented because it is a surreal experience. The trick is, you don’t have to look disoriented. If you exude a confident and comfortable look, then that is how people will perceive you.

Here are a few other items to be prepared for:

  1. You make hear an echo of your own words in your ear. It’s annoying, but just try to get through the interview without complaining.
  2. There will often be a delay for a second or two between what you say and what the other person is saying to you. This delay will seem like forever and will make it harder to talk about things that require timing, such as humor. This is also a reason to keep your answers a little shorter than usual.

Being interviewed via satellite without any reporter or host to look at is not for media virgins; it is harder, so make sure you practice and rehearse with video. If you can master this format, you greatly enhance your versatility and desirability in the eyes of the media worldwide.

For more information on media and presentation training please visit, and continue reading for news and analysis to help you communicate more effectively.

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