April 19, 2023

Perfecting Interviews

A summary of the most important things to think about when preparing for filming interviews.

How to prepare for an interview

We’ve filmed a lot of interviews, whilst they might sound like a simple thing to film, there are a fair few things to consider if you haven’t done them before. Interviews (or talking heads) can be a great way to share information, showcase expertise, and engage with your audience but they require careful planning to get them to achieve the results you’re looking for.

Define your purpose and audience

Who are you trying to reach? What message do you want to convey? What action do you want viewers to take? Answering these questions will help you determine the tone, content, and style of the interview. It’s also important to consider the length and the channel placement of the video. If it’s primarily for social, don’t make a 5 minute epic, if it’s for your website, consider the information it will sit alongside on the page as you prepare.

Choose the right interviewer and interviewee

Choose someone at your company who is knowledgeable, articulate, and engaging to be interviewed. The presence of a camera can sometimes make the most articulate and eloquent person shy and uncomfortable so it’s important to consider someone’s media experience or comfort level. The interviewer should be able to ask insightful questions and guide the conversation in a natural and conversational way. We have lots of experience working with people of all levels of skill and comfort, helping get the best answers.

Plan your questions

Before the interview, plan your questions carefully. Start with open-ended questions that allow the interviewee to share their thoughts and experiences. Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Ask follow-up questions to explore interesting topics in more depth. Create a shorter list of the most important questions too, try and get shorter answers for these so they can be used for a dedicated social cut down if you’re creating a longer 2 minute brand piece.

Choose the right location and setting

Consider the acoustics of the space and the lighting. Make sure there are no distractions or interruptions. Consider using a background that is relevant to the topic of the interview. It might sound great to have the interviewee walking through an office delivering lines, but the practical reality is that is a lot harder than it looks. Also try and match the setting of the interview with the tone you’re going for.

Down the barrel

Stylistically, it’s best practice to have the interviewee looking at the interviewer, just off camera. This also helps people feel more comfortable. If you’re using two camera angles. make sure they are not too far apart as cutting between two very different angles can be jarring for the viewer.

In conclusion, creating a successful interview-style video requires careful planning and preparation. By defining your purpose and audience and where it is going to be shared, choosing the right interviewer and interviewee, planning your questions and choosing the right location and setting, you can be confident in the knowledge that your brand will be represented in the way you want and the audience will leave with the information they need.

Interested in working with us?

Get in touch today, we’d be delighted to show you how we can use video strategy and production to help you win new business.