Whatever your reason may be for creating video content, an interview, or possibly interviews, may be part of the plan, whether you’re the one getting interviewed, doing the interviewing, or aren’t directly involved yet there will some form of one at some point.
It makes sense. After all, the reason so many videomakers choose to include an interview or interviews in some way is because they work. They give viewers a chance to hear the message from the horse’s mouth, as they say, and that can go a long way toward getting them to relate to and engage with your content.
The thing is, if you or those involved are new to the process or just uncomfortable with being on camera, then make no mistake, that will directly affect your video. So, as longtime NY / NJ video production pros, we thought we’d pass along a few tips that should help.
Natural and casual are key to video interview success.
No matter who’s getting interviewed, whether it’s your company’s founder(s), members of your organization, experts or influencers in your field, etc., the people on camera can’t come across as robots.
We all know that, of course. Authenticity and transparency are words we hear a lot nowadays, but that hasn’t stopped a whole lot of videomakers, brands, and marketers from continuing to produce videos that appear anything but genuine and sincere.
And that has a lot to with the way they conduct their interviews. They often think it’s better to come up with a definitive script, rehearse it again and again, and then try their best to stick strictly to their lines.
In terms of video production efficiency, it’s the right play, but in terms of authenticity, you couldn’t take a worse approach. The better bet is to try and build a rapport between the interviewee and the interviewer, whoever they may be.
That way, they can simply hold a natural, sincere conversation. Yes, you should obviously talk about the points you’ll want touched on and discussed during the interview—no one should go in completely blind—but you don’t want everyone to be focused on sticking to a script either.
Trust us, unless you’ve got some real acting talent participating in your interview(s), then that’ll show, and the last thing you want is to end up with robotic interviews. You need real personalities to shine through, and you can’t get there by taking a phony approach.
Don’t alienate the audience.
Again, not every person participating in video interviews is going to be comfortable with the process. Take it from us, we’ve conducted our share of interviews in our time in video production in NY and NJ, and when the people involved are comfortable, it makes things a whole lot easier, but you can’t bank on it.
And it’s not just about the risk of those involved coming across as insincere or awkward. It’s also about the risk of making the audience feel left out, which can happen if the interviewee, interviewer, or both are focused solely on each other.
Now, if your interview is between just your subject and the camera, then that’s different. In that case, you may just want the interviewee to look into the camera the entire time, but when multiple subjects are involved, you need to consider the attention being paid to the audience.
Yes, if you or the people participating are having an in-depth and genuine conversation, then much of the attention will, and should, be on each other, but they still need to acknowledge the audience, at some point.
If they don’t, then viewers may start to feel left out, as if they’re just eavesdropping on two people having a conversation, and that’s not good. You want them to feel involved in the discussion, or else it’s all been a waste of time.
Ask questions and stay in control.
It’s always a good idea for the people involved in your video interviews to take a moment before the interview begins to take a deep breath and get composed. They need to make sure they’re in a comfortable position and should be willing to ask the video production team any questions that pop into their heads that may help them get there.
Video production crews are used to people being nervous and should be willing to do anything to help, including keeping them as informed of their appearance, movements, behavior, etc., as possible. And the same goes for during the interview itself.
The interviewee should feel perfectly comfortable with taking a moment to consider how to respond to questions or comments. Remember, it’s a video and it will ultimately be edited, so it’s better that they try to give the best answer possible rather than nervously rushing into it.
The bottom line is that anything that helps the people involved in your interview to stay controlled and to keep thinking positively is worth it. They need to be focused on getting the right message across, not how they look on camera or how viewers may react to them.
Lastly, don’t forget the golden rule of video interviews.
No matter what kind of video you’re trying to create, the interviewee(s) should always be made aware of whether or not the interviewer’s questions will be included in the video. Why?
Because that will determine whether or not they need to repeat and/or rephrase the question before answering it. It’s one of the most commonly forgotten parts of the process, but if that’s not clear, then you’ll risk leaving the audience with no context, and that can make the viewing experience confusing, fast.
From there, just try to remember that it’s okay to make mistakes. If you or those involved with the interview(s) are too stressed or worried about minor slip-ups, then it’ll show in the video. So, just try to relax and understand it’s a process.
For some more basic tips, check out this post, Tips for the Talking Heads in Your Next Video Production.
About Us: KVibe Productions, a New York/New Jersey full-service film & video production company, can handle every aspect of the production process. Whether it’s a commercial, corporate video, or a feature film, etc., at KVibe, we always create to inspire.