6th July 2018
Most TV news interviews last 2 or 3 minutes. Sometimes, though, the slot you’re given can be up to 10 minutes. And for any interviewee, that throws up a couple of extra challenges.
The first is about the length of your answers, the second about your demeanour. And while Ben Wallace, the Security Minister, was doing an interview following the second poisoning case in Wiltshire, we saw both of those challenges in plain sight.
In a long interview, the temptation is to give, well, long answers. But this makes you far less engaging. Mr Wallace’s answers were regularly over a minute long, which is a lot longer than we recommend. One answer was a whopping 2 minutes and 14 seconds. Being aware of the duration of your answers is an important skill to learn.
And any longer interview also tests your mental endurance. Journalists know that mistakes are likely to occur towards the end of interviews, when their guest is worn down. They are also likely to get more tetchy and impatient, which can also lead to a slip-up or two.
And Mr Wallace was again a good demonstration of this. Not only was he physically showing signs of strain, but his manner became more passive-aggressive, and at one point he asked the interviewers Kate Garroway and Susanna Reid, “have you read the report?”, which is a sure sign of starting to lose the single most important aspect of any interview you do – control.
You can currently see Louise presenting and reporting on Channel 5 News. Louise anchored her own show on Bloomberg Television interviewing Europe’s business leaders and politicians. She has covered major news stories as a correspondent for Sky News, Channel 4 News and Bloomberg Television.
Chloe reads the news on Channel 5 News. As a Sky News Presenter Chloe anchored across the channel’s output, interviewing major politicians and analysts, and handling breaking news on a daily basis. She has interviewed people from all walks of life as a reporter and presenter on both television and radio for Sky Arts, Magic FM and Monocle 24.
Adam’s camerawork is on the screen every day across ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. In the past, Adam worked for Sky News where he covered everything from the war in Afghanistan to the Oscars in LA. He has more than 20 years’ experience and his films won Best News Item at the Monte Carlo Television and Film Festival two years running.
Richard has 20 years' experience on the frontline of news. After producing daily bulletins for 5 News, he then took on the role of Deputy Editor before moving to ITV News in the same position.
Now with experience in PR, Richard has real insight into what makes a story - and how best to sell it.