What (Not) To Wear for a TV Interview

Have you ever watched an interview on television and couldn’t help but feel that something was drawing your attention away from the person’s message? Perhaps it was what they were wearing.

People shouldn’t make judgments based on your appearance, but some will, even subconsciously. Certain colors, patterns and types of clothing can create unintentional distractions on camera when they would typically go unnoticed in everyday situations.

While there are always exceptions to every rule, here are a few tips to keep in mind for your next television interview:

Don’t wear white, black, red or green. Cameras are sensitive, and these colors can be harsh on screen. While white tends to glow, black will absorb light, and bright red hues can be distracting. Green also interferes with digital backgrounds. Solid blue and pastel tones are generally a safe bet.

On that note, stay away from patterns, including stripes, plaid and small designs. Again, cameras pick up everything, and some designs can create visual interference.

The general rule for attire is business casual. Avoid wearing short skirts, dresses, shorts or other revealing clothing. It’s also a good idea to look online for recent interview clips to get an idea of the set and see what other guests have worn in the past.

Before an interview, remove any jewelry that moves, makes noise or could hit your microphone. This includes dangly earrings, bangle bracelets and long or bulky necklaces.

Avoid brand name logos and words on your clothing. You want viewers to hear what you are saying, not your T-shirt.

Getting to Know You: Why Media Matters

Author Interview

When you’re gearing up to launch a new book, building buzz can be difficult, even for seasoned authors who have a loyal following of readers. The fact is, there are regularly more than 300,000 titles released by traditional publishers every year in the United States while the non-traditional publishing sector churns out more than 1 million books annually, according to Bowker. So what’s the bottom line? There is a lot of competition out there.

One of the most worthwhile ways of breaking through all the noise is with the media. This can come in the form of interviews, book announcements or reviews –though reviews are becoming increasingly less common and more difficult to secure because of shrinking newsrooms and resources.

Interviews are the best way for readers to connect with the people behind their favorite books on a deeper, more personal level. It gives readers an opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look into the writing filling their home libraries, or even get introduced to new voices in the literary world.

Just about every writer wants “big media” attention like the New York Times or National Public Radio, but they shouldn’t underestimate the power of local media. Similar to a grassroots movement, local media can help build buzz on the ground level. It’s a good place to start, especially for new authors who are just getting their feet wet. A feature in a local newspaper or a spot on a morning news show is a great starting point for bigger things to come.

Big or small, every media outlet will consider a few factors before setting up interview or other types of coverage. Knowing the questions that journalists will ask themselves before covering a new book can be invaluable. Here are a few questions they may consider:

  • Why do my readers care about this book?
  • Does the author have a local connection?
  • Why is it important to feature this book now?
  • What makes this book or author unique?
  • Is this book or author controversial in any way?
  • What kind of impact will this book or author have the community that my media outlet serves?


Angelle Barbazon is currently a publicist for JKS Communications. She is an award-winning journalist who worked for various print newspapers across the country and NPR before succumbing to her love of books.