The Top Tips for Making Great Interview Videos

Interview Videos are a powerful way to demonstrate expertise and engage your audience. Additionally, they are easy to produce.

The process of filming an interview video may seem straightforward: after all, you’re interviewing someone in front of a camera, aren’t you? When it comes to avoiding a dull look and feel, there are actually many things to consider. By considering the content, recording process, and the setup, your interviews will be dynamic.

Video Interviews: What are they?

You have probably seen them on the news, on talk shows, or in documentaries. Videos of interviews usually feature one person answering questions, usually on a specific topic. A video of this type is up close and personal, and the interviewee may be a subject matter expert or simply someone with an opinion. Interview videos that allow for an unscripted and honest perspective are a great way to give your story a personal touch.

Interview videos have several benefits.

  • Video interviews are authentic. Getting the information straight from the source is the best approach. They share an expert’s unscripted knowledge or take on a topic. There’s a reason journalism relies so heavily on interviews, and that’s the truth.
  • Interviews enhance storytelling. Are you more interested in hearing about the moon landing from a historian or Armstrong himself? Stories come to life with the small details and anecdotes of those who lived them.
  • Interviews offer an insider’s perspective. Interviews can give you access to people and information that might otherwise remain hidden. Interviews with celebrities, CEOs, notable people provide access and an inside look into their lives.
  • Video interviews are easy to produce. The setup requirements for interview videos are barebones. Shooting and editing are both expedited by using a standard one angle setup. The bare minimum you need to achieve a good interview video is your smartphone, but having a camera, tripod, and microphone is ideal.
  • Repurposing interviews can be highly effective. Your other types of videos will have more authenticity and personality with interview clips. You can use the interview as a case study or break it into short clips for social media. If you find a clip of interest, you might even use it for an explainer or video about your company culture.

Interview Videos: Where to Use Them

Interview videos are versatile and can be utilised in various sales funnel stages and throughout your business. For brand awareness, concept explanation, and lead retention with industry-specific insights, they tend to work best through the following channels.

The website

Videos from interviews can be featured throughout your website, on customer testimonial video hubs, landing pages related to the product or event, or even in the “About” section. Interviews would be helpful to give context for the information or convey the story that is written on the page.

Email

An interview video works well in an email campaign as engaging content. An interview with your CEO or an industry leader can be used in newsletters to customers or internal emails to grow and educate your community. Customers can also be interviewed by sales teams for prospects.

Podcasts

Incorporate clippings or full interviews into podcast episodes that support an episodic theme. Your podcast can be an audio podcast or a video podcast.

The Social Web

The longer version of the interview video should be split into parts for social sharing, with a link to the longer version of the video on the landing page.

Various types of interview videos

Talking Head Interviews

Talking head interviews feature a single speaker from the chest up. The focus is on the speaker and what they are saying. The media and documentaries frequently feature talking heads.
If you want to communicate the truth, choose a talking head interview. These facts could be provided by an expert or a first-hand account of an event or experience.
In an interview with the interviewer off-camera, it’s common to ask the interviewee to repeat the question in their response. When posed the question: “How long have you been with capital M productions “. As opposed to saying, “Two years,” the interviewee would say, “I’ve been at capital M for…”. It is easier to edit the interview into a single piece by rephrasing the question.

interview video - talking heads

Interviews with a conversational approach

It doesn’t matter if it is a talk show format or an on-location interview; conversational interviews feature the interviewer on camera. Real-time conversations give these interviews a sense of authenticity.

Viewers often relate to the host, making them feel like they are part of the conversation. Consider a conversational interview if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere.

Making an Interview Video

Establish a clear purpose. Your role might be to explain a complex issue or cultivate brand awareness. The decisions you have to make will be easier if you narrow down your purpose.

Choose an Interviewee who is Right For You

Your purpose will be reflected in the person you choose. To simplify a complex topic, you might hire a subject matter expert. A product manager or event organiser is the best person to share a success story regarding a recent event. Choose thought leaders from the industry if you’re looking to lead a movement. Be sure the person you select is well-spoken and confident, and they are able to convey your mission.

Research your topic

An understanding of the subject matter will make you feel more confident in your interview questions. Additionally, it will facilitate rephrasing the question or adding context when necessary.

Types of questions to ask during a video interview

Preparing questions in advance can help prevent surprises during an interview. It will only equip you as the interviewer with the information to emphasise during your interview. Consider the following questions as a guideline in preparing for a video interview.

  • Don’t ask “yes” or “no” questions. Viewers will not be able to benefit from them.
  • Break the ice with warm-up questions. Things like the company name, role, and about the company.
  • Relevance is key. If you’re trying to overcome the objection that your product is hard to use, you may want to ask your client how easy it was for them to get up and to run with our solution.
  • You will get specific answers if you ask specific questions. Provide specific examples or answers during your interview. What are three ways in which you have made your relationships with your customers stronger?”
  • Ask follow-up questions. If your interviewee does not answer your question clearly or concisely, ask them to clarify or reframe the question.
  • In closing, ask for their final thoughts. After you’ve asked your interviewee all the questions you want, ask if they have any last thoughts or anything else they’d like to add—often, the best soundbites will come after the interview’s main point is made.

 

Once you have the question list, sort them in a coherent order. You may want to begin with the easy questions (Who are you? What is your occupation?) before moving on to more in-depth questions (What impact did this have on your business? What do you plan to do next?).

Finding the Right Setting
If boring your viewers to death with an interview is not on your checklist, don’t shoot it against a beige wall! You can change the tone of your video depending on where you are and what is in the background.  Consider designing and decorating your set if you have an in-house video studio. Whenever possible, integrate branded design elements and consider what appears in the background (what film nerds and French people refer to as the mise-en-scene). Consider a location that says something about your subject if you are shooting on location. In the case of an interview with a music producer, shoot in their studio. You should find a spot outside if possible during times when you are less in control, such as at a conference. If outside isn’t feasible, look for a spot near a window or somewhere with good lighting.

Light Up Your Subject
For lighting, use a three-point lighting system, or have your subject face the sun. To find out more about lighting, see our Video Production Guide.

Check your Sound Quality
When conducting remote interviews with a USB or lavalier microphone, make sure to test the sound quality first. Isolate the recorded sound from the ambient sound by using headphones. Take care not to have clothes rub against the microphone (to avoid rustling noises) and pop the p’s. Sound is of utmost importance in interviews since they are primarily about the spoken word.

Editing: A Magical Experience

Flow from question to question by combining the best parts of the interview. If you don’t think a piece of footage contributes to the overall purpose or goal of the video, you can trash it.  Take advantage of this opportunity to be creative. Make this interview shine with music, visuals, on-screen text (such as the subject’s name and title), and everything else possible to catch the viewer’s attention. However, be careful not to overdo things. Most of the time, less is more.

Best Practices for Interview Videos
Go off the book

It’s always best not to let your interviewee follow a script on camera if you want them to perform well. Withholding questions from your guest will help you avoid this. Keep the exact questions for the day in mind, but send them an overview in advance. You can rephrase the question to get the same answer in a different way if your guest’s responses are robotic or rehearsed.

The warm-up

What is the best way to interview someone on camera? The key is to get them warmed up. Ensure your guest is comfortable before you even turn on the camera! The power of small talk is undeniable. This will help your interviewee relax on camera and speak more naturally. Providing small comforts on set, such as snacks and water, will also make your guests feel more comfortable on camera.

B-Rolls, You Need Them

Any footage outside of an interview is referred to as B-roll. Adding visual interest, illustrating the subject matter, and assisting the editor with smooth transitions are all functions of these styles. The B-Roll may also include product shots, graphics, charts, or text on the screen. If you like, you can insert questions between answers on the screen.

Let's take a breather.

It’s easier to edit when your guests pause before switching topics or switching subjects, so don’t make them talk in run-on sentences. In the event of a collision between 2 trains of thought, you may need to ask to hear a specific portion of their response again.

Record 10secs of the room tone

If you are shooting an interview in a public place, recording room tone can be a lifesaver. It’s possible to hear unexpected noises even in a swanky studio. By creating a bath of white noise under your main audio track, room tone can neutralise these sounds. Having a good duration of the room tone can also help to delete room ambient noises if there is a need in post-production.

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