How do I look good in a TV interview?

Steve Blears Media Training Guide

How do I look good in a TV interview? Dress appropriately. Watch the TV show or news channel in advance to check what their dress code looks like. Brush your hair and check nothing is stuck between your teeth. 

When you're appearing on television programmes such as news, live shows, and documentaries:

Neckline choices: Choose a neckline that isn't overly complicated. A V-neck jacket or a straight-across T-shirt works well. Intricate necklines can distract viewers.

Cleavage considerations: If you're comfortable showing cleavage, that's your choice. However, many prefer a modest approach, especially when appearing before a national audience. Opt for higher necklines to keep the focus on your words.

Full outfit visibility: If the camera captures your length, pay attention to your shoes and hemlines. Your legs may be on show if you are sitting while interviewed so consider your hem length if that's an issue for you. Remember if you choose a skirt that sits on the knee when standing, as it may rise when you sit. The aim is to avoid adjusting your outfit during the interview.

Pattern guidelines: Avoid very busy colours and busy patterns. Wearing patterns is fine, but steer clear of small, intricate designs like herringbone and fine check prints. They can create a 'strobe' effect on camera, leading to visual distractions for viewers.

Jewellery etiquette: While jewellery adds flair, consider keeping it understated. Bulky or jangly pieces can create noise or detracting from your message.

Men: You can't go wrong with a suit. Go tieless or in shirt sleeves if you want to appear more relaxed.

Pre-appearance checks: Before you go on air, do a quick check for issues like spinach in teeth or dandruff on shoulders. Make sure your hair is brushed.

Programme research: Before your appearance, watch the programme to gauge its general dress code and adjust your outfit accordingly.

Tip! Don't expect a make-up artist. Do your make-up as you normally would. Add a little powder if you suffer from a shiny head or nose.

Where do I look when I'm being interviewed on TV?

The general rule is to look at the person interviewing you.

If you are being interviewed "down the line" in a remote studio (just you and a camera), look at the camera lens. This will give the impression that you are looking at the journalist speaking to you.

In his scenario be aware that you may be in-vision on TV without realising, so adopt a listening face and no nose-picking immediately before or after the interview.

It's OK to look away briefly during the conversation, but try to return your gaze to the lens or the person interviewing.


How do you sit in a TV interview? Don't slouch or put your feet on the table, smile politely and look engaged.

1. Be Relaxed
You can achieve a relaxed posture by using a selection of confident body language. Sit back to look relaxed and lean forward to show enthusiasm.

2. Be Animated
Use your hands to explain things and ensure your facial expressions align with your words. This makes you more watchable and likable.

3. Be Passionate
Maintain interest and enthusiasm, your energy will captivate your audience.

4. Be Energised
Take deep breaths before you start to energise your performance. Know how adrenaline affects you and adjust accordingly.

5. Be Clear and Concise
Provide clear and concise information. Avoid waffling but also refrain from one-word answers. Adapt to the general format of the programme you're on.

How do you introduce yourself in a TV interview? Generally, you don't. But DO tell them how you'd like to be introduced. Keep it short and to the point, your name, your title, from business name.

What do I do with my hands when I'm being interviewed on TV?

Are you expressive and wave your hands around in a normal conversation? If so don't worry about waving your hands around when talking on TV. Otherwise, arms relaxed, hands somewhere they feel comfortable such as your lap. Folded arms or hands on hips can look defensive or aggressive.