You’ve done your interview preparation and you don’t think you need too many interview tips because you know your subject and are confident about what you want to say, but there is one aspect of your forthcoming TV interview that is still worrying you.
You don’t know what to wear. And it isn’t only your clothing and what colours to wear for an interview that has got you thinking, you want to make a great impression and you need to make sure the outfit ideas you’ve got planned are going to look great and work for the cameras.
Planning what to wear to an interview on television requires a few different skills to dressing for a business meeting, and a bit of knowledge about what does and doesn’t look good on camera can go a long way. We have some top tips to help you look your best in front of the television cameras.
Gather useful information as part of your interview preparation
Before your interview, you are unlikely to have a helpful friend you can phone and ask the, ‘What are you wearing?’ question. One great interview tip however, is to watch similar expert interviews and get an idea of how other people dress for the same type of occasion.
Small details about the room in which you’ll be filmed can also be very helpful. For example, find out if you’ll be sitting or standing and whether or not your legs and feet will be visible. Another aspect of your interview surroundings to take note of is the colour of the backdrop; you need to contrast with it so that you show up but you should also remember that bright colours appear even brighter against a white background and become less intense against a dark one.
Don’t forget this interview tip – get the colours right
Part of your interview preparation should include thinking about which colours to wear for an interview. This is a question that most people ask but choosing colours for television isn’t as tricky as you might imagine. Just go for colours you like and follow a few key rules and you’ll be sure to make the impact you’re planning to.
- Use jewel-like tones with plenty of intensity near to your face to help highlight your features
- Partially cover a brighter layer with a darker one so that you retain impact but don’t appear too shocking
- Avoid pastel colours unless you want to reduce your impact
- Remember that super bright hues, such as neons can drain the colour from your face
- If you like black, go for navy blue instead but be aware that both these dark colours can age you
- Avoid a large expanse of white as it can wash out colour from your face
Keep it calm when it comes to patterns and fabric
When you’re thinking about what to wear to an interview on television, it is worth remembering that patterns in general should be avoided as they can distract the eye and react in strange ways to the camera. This includes stripes or checks but larger plaids can sometimes work. When considering outfit ideas, it’s also important to get the fabric right. Shiny fabrics are less than flattering in normal light but can be a disaster on television. Go for thicker cotton or other matte fabrics to smooth your body profile and reduce issues with shadows.
Forget fashion and branding
This is an interview tip you might not have thought of. Unless your area of expertise happens to be fashion, it doesn’t pay to wear high fashion items for a television interview. These tend to have a short shelf life, appeal to a relatively small number of people and can distract from what you’re trying to say. The same goes for obviously branded clothing but you need to be even more cautious here because most TV channels and regulatory bodies have strict rules about product placement, particularly in news programmes.
Flatter your good points
It isn’t true that the cameras make you look pounds heavier but they won’t make you look thinner either so dress to suit your body shape. A great interview tip is to add to your TV interview confidence by disguising the areas of your body you dislike and enhancing the ones you like. Common areas of concern include:
- Tops of arms – cover these up with sleeves that are at least elbow length
- Double chins – avoid high necklines such as polo necks, avoid tying a tie too tight
- A large bust – wear a good bra and avoid showing too much cleavage
- A problem tummy – go for simple, loose layers and a single colour, don’t tuck shirts in too tightly and avoid tight belts
- An unsightly neck – for a man, wear a tie, for a woman, wear bigger jewellery, a scarf or a turned up collar
You want to be taken seriously
People shouldn’t judge what you are saying by the outfit you are wearing but they will do so, and it pays to make sure that your outfit matches your message. Avoid outfits that distract with overly distinctive features, short skirts or super-obvious accessories and focus on the ideas of simple and classic. Make sure that you leave your statement pieces or clothes with an obvious date marker at home and opt for something simple that will keep your video relevant over the next few years.
Make sure your shoes are comfortable, but not too comfortable
During your interview you won’t want the distraction of shoes that are too tight or brand new but don’t be tempted to wear trainers to help you relax. Always match your level of shoe smartness to your outfit smartness, even if you think your feet will be out of camera shot.
Avoid the less obvious mistakes
The problem with less obvious television interview outfit mistakes is that you don’t usually find out about them until after your interview. A few additional interview tips you might want to take notice of include:
- Checking the bottom of your shoes for price labels
- Making sure your outfit behaves itself when you move, bend or stretch
- Avoiding over warm clothes that might result in a red face
- Inspecting shirts or blouses for possible gaping issues
- Checking how trousers appear when you’re sitting down
- Wearing socks that are long enough to hide your ankles
- Selecting plain socks rather than novelty ones
- Taking outfit spares in case of spillage accidents before your interview
If you are still nervous about your television interview, don’t be. Although clothing is important, perhaps the most important interview tip is that what you wear isn’t as significant as your expert knowledge and confidence in your topic. Get the interview preparation for TV right and it will be one of the best ways to demonstrate your capabilities and let the world hear what you have to say. With Globelynx, the interview process is straightforward and often carried out in familiar surroundings. Get interviewed in your own branded office and partner with over 100 international broadcasters from around the world. We would be pleased to help you with more information.