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Top 10 Interview Tips for Non-Professional Talent

Lights, Camera, Action...

Whether it’s your first or fiftieth time on-camera, nerves can jangle your performance. But take a deep breath and relax because help is on the way.

After interviewing hundreds of executives, employees and everyday people for videos, I've recognized many habits that surface time and time again that can mar a performance. But happily with a little direction, these are easy habits to change. So here are my Top 10 Interview Tips for non-professional talent.

  1. Be prepared, but don't memorize anything. It will sound stilted and rehearsed. Just keep it conversational and add a little personality.

  2. You can do re-takes and pick-ups if you flub it. But generally, if you make a mistake, just keep going, unless asked to stop.

  3. Dress for success. Look the part you are playing. If you are a scientist, wear a lab coat, not a cocktail dress. And don’t wear stripes or large patterns. The parallel lines can set up an electronic moiré pattern that is distracting, and the large patterns can upstage you. Also, avoid big, bright, shiny jewelry that reflects light.

  4. If you wear glasses that have a reflection, tilt the temple arms up slightly so the lenses angle down to minimize the reflection.

  5. Keep a glass/bottle of water nearby in case of dry mouth.

  6. Speak clearly and at a natural voice level; there is no need to raise your voice. The microphone will do its job.

  7. Don’t look around at clients or others in the room for approval at the end of each question. (Did I do good, mom?)

  8. Try to maintain eye contact with the interviewer. It’s okay to look away, blink, or otherwise gather your thoughts, but always come back to make eye contact.

  9. Don't fidget. That includes swiveling in your chair and tapping fingers or pencils.

  10. When you are done with your answer, simply close your mouth and relax. The interviewer will know you are ready for the next question.

And that’s all there is to it. The more you can relax and enjoy yourself, the more you’ll like the end results. Go ahead. Be expressive; put a smile in your voice, and be prepared. With just these few tips, you’ll be a great success.

Looking forward to interviewing you in the days ahead. Marilyn

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