GREAT stories can be told with simple interview videos. Getting a film look and sound is important and cool, but more importantly is knowing the tricks to get your on-camera subject comfortable and conversational before the camera starts rolling.

Here’s a collection of assorted interviews covering a dozen topics. Look and listen for the definitive tone each subject uses.

Crafting Compelling Interview Videos: Tips and Techniques

Interview videos have the power to tell great stories, even in their simplicity. While achieving a professional film look and sound is essential, the key lies in making your on-camera subjects feel comfortable and engaged before the camera starts rolling. In this article, we’ll explore some valuable insights and techniques for conducting impactful interviews that captivate your audience.

Preparation is Key

Before diving into an interview, it’s crucial to understand the objective and purpose of your video, as well as the intended audience. Simply being asked to interview someone without knowing the underlying motivation can hinder your ability to extract the best soundbites. While a broad understanding of the topic is acceptable, it’s advisable to conduct thorough research. Ideally, you should familiarize yourself enough with the subject matter to anticipate the soundbites your target audience would find most compelling. Collaborate with decision-makers to develop a list of questions that will draw out the expertise of your interviewee.

The Day of the Shoot

To ensure a smooth interview, make sure all your gear is set up and ready before the interviewee arrives. Delegate tasks to a production assistant, such as finalizing camera equipment and adjusting lighting, so you can focus on establishing a rapport with the spokesperson. As the professional behind the camera, your calm demeanor will help ease any anxiety they may have. As a producer, take the opportunity to personally connect with the spokesperson by putting on the wireless lavalier microphone. Engage in casual conversation about their background, family, sports, or even their breakfast. These non-professional topics will help establish a friendly atmosphere and put the spokesperson at ease, allowing their natural personality to shine through.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Commence the interview with softball questions, such as asking for the interviewee’s name and title, or inquiring about how they got started in their field or their tenure with the company. This approach builds confidence and fosters a relaxed conversational environment. After a couple of warm-up questions, with the camera rolling, it’s the perfect time to ask the more specific questions outlined earlier. However, a crucial aspect at this stage is active listening and effective follow-up. If a response requires clarification, politely request further explanation or elaboration. This allows the interviewee to guide the conversation confidently.

In certain instances, you may want to gently delve deeper to elicit an emotional response on camera. Employ phrases like “What makes you feel that way?” or challenge their conclusions by asking, “Why did you come to that conclusion?” These approaches tap into the interviewee’s intellectual and emotional realms, revealing more profound insights. Remember, as the interviewer, you have the flexibility to choose between initial responses or more powerful ones captured in subsequent takes.

Think Like a Video Editor

Throughout the interview, adopt the mindset of a video editor. Are the responses concise and to the point? Remember, you should already have a clear idea of the desired responses in mind. If an interviewee offers valuable insights but tends to ramble on for minutes, allow them to finish and then ask if they can condense their answer into a 10-second soundbite. Conciseness is crucial unless your audience has committed to a two-hour documentary. Aim for solid, informative answers that align with the objective and purpose of the video. This reminder holds immense significance for both the client’s success and the audience’s limited time.

By implementing these tips and techniques, you can create interview videos that captivate your audience and effectively convey your message. Remember, the art lies in making your subjects feel at ease, asking the right questions, actively listening, and shaping the content during the editing process. With these skills, you’ll be well-equipped to produce compelling and engaging interview videos.

Bob Gifford has produced over 1000 videos for companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. interviews your business #website socialmedia branding customer testimonials