How To Survive The Green Room During Your Next Media Interview
The green room. The place where you’re designated to sit back and relax prior to your interview. Only, rarely do people actually get a chance to do just that. Often the green room can be an overwhelming experience and even stun those when they were unsure of what to expect.
First things first, why is it even called the green room? According to Wikipedia, the origin of the term is often ascribed to such rooms historically being painted green. The modern “green room” is usually not green at all.
Now that we have that history lesson under our belt, when you’ve achieved much coveted media coverage and are asked to go in-studio, expect to be directed to the green room. From there you will want to know not only how to survive this pre-interview area, but how to thrive from it.
Expect other guests to be there. Yes, you will likely not be the only one in the green room. Other guests going on the news will be in attendance too. What that means is that while you try to focus on your talking points, you may have distractions such other people wanting to talk to you or their entourage, models prepping, possibly zoo animals going on-air or more. Expect the unexpected in this emerald city. Anticipating this scenario from the beginning will help prepare you. Often time’s people are surprised that the green room is jam-packed and very active and it can really throw them off their game.
Be friendly. It’s okay to participate in conversation in the green room. It might even improve your interview as you can work out any nerves you might have. You also never know if you might be encountering someone in the green room who could be your next customer (or even someone famous)! Just avoid the pitfall of being overly social and not in the mental mind frame needed to have a successful interview and master your talking points.
Secure social. The green room usually is decorated in station paraphernalia. This makes for the perfect background for social media pictures. Be sure to tag the station and the reporter or anchor you will be interviewing with to really maximize the experience.
Get ready. There will likely be an area with a mirror, or a bathroom. Use this area to do a glance-over at your appearance. Sometimes just the walk from the lobby to the station’s green room can make hair fly out of place or wardrobe shift. Know that there might be other people vying for the same mirror space. Sometimes people use this area to get ready (meaning hair and makeup completely being done). It’s okay. Take time when needed and if you’re going on set soon and let any mirror-monopolizer know that you just need a minute. We recommend bringing normally used hair styling tools in case its needed but also oil or shine blotting makeup be brought as well.
Food and drink caution. Sometimes you might be waiting in the green room longer than expected. This might start the process of your stomach growling or your thirst kicking into high gear. While it’s necessary to fuel up for your interview, be aware of what food and beverages you’re consuming. Since coffee stains teeth, avoid coffee right before your interview (unless you brought your toothbrush of course). The danger also with coffee and other food and beverage is the potential for spilling onto your perfectly chosen and neatly pressed outfit just moments before you’re going live on set. This is a stressor that is easily prevented by being prepared ahead of time. Think about having snacks that are dry and beverages that are colorless. There will likely will be a hair dryer in some green rooms that might do the trick if you have a spill.
Talking points. We recommend having your talking points printed out or on your smart phone for review in the green room. It helps to glance over them a few more times prior to the interview to be ready. Just be sure to not try to memorize your lines or what you want to say. Conversational engagement is best during an interview.
Ready or not. A producer will likely open the door and call you to escort you to the set. Always listen up for whom the producer is calling to avoid any delay in your segment. Relax and enjoy.