5 Tips for being interviewed on video

Posted on August 22nd, 2019 by · Filed under Video Production articles

Video interview Over the last 10 years I’ve lost count on how many Interviews I have filmed. Interviews are the back bone of many corporate video projects for getting inside information, facts and experiences straight from the horse’s mouth. Not everyone is comfortable being put in front of camera however, and even those that are still make common mistakes. So here are my top five tips you should keep in mind going into a video interview.
1. Timing and knowing when to start. First one. Easy one. Very common mistake! In nearly The interviewer asks a question and the interviewee in their haste, with nerves jangling will start to answer before we have finished, creating a very slight overlap. When you’re asked a question the best thing to do is just pause for a moment, maybe give the question some thought for a couple of seconds before answering. Those few seconds make the world of difference for the editor, it lets them bring the footage in smoothly fading both the audio and video in for a  seamless transition. If you start your answer straight away it may look and sound, sharp and sudden in the final film. It can ruin the shot and waste your brilliant answer! Pause, take a breath….

2. Repeat the question. In the vast majority of interviews, documentaries and films you’ll find that you never hear the questions being asked by the interviewer. This is a tried and tested technique that is followed in non-news, factual, documentary media. The interviewee isn’t important, isn’t seen or heard. This creates a problem if you answer your question “…yes…”. Yes what?Always answer by repeating the question. This provides a self contained answer and gives good reference to editor and more importantly the viewer.
3. Maintain your eye line. Depending on the video thats being made you have two options, either looking directly into the camera or (more commonly) looking at the interviewer. People’s eyes are easily drawn towards the camera, especially when the cameraman will be moving around it during the interview. If you are talking to the side, don’t look at the camera! It creates an obvious awkward moment and breaks the 4th wall. If you’re are talking to the camera then don’t look around, it gives the impression of avoiding eye contact and can make you look less trustworthy.Know where you’re looking and stick to it! 
4. Relax and repeat. Unless you’ve done this many times before, the chances are you’ll be nervous. There’s nothing to worry about during the filming of an interview. Think of it this way, in public speaking you have one shot. With a video interview you can repeat the same thing as many times as you need, and only the very best one will be used! The crew will always try and make you as comfortable as possible. It’s likely that you’ll have good knowledge on the subject and it’s our job to help you best communicate that. We aren’t there to catch you out and its not a problem if we need to go over the same questions a few times, in fact sometimes the better takes come later after you have relaxed. 
5. Knowing when to stop. Interviews are very different from a general chat. There’s natural stop points during a chat, where someone else will take over while you listen, there’s interruptions, vocal responses to what you’re saying. During the interview it’s up to you to find a good stopping point, the interviewer can’t interrupt, interject or give you verbal reassurance! If they do, they’d ruin your take! Think about where you are going to end your sentence… and end it! Sounds easy, but it’s another really common problem. Stopping talking can be the most difficult part! So think carefully before you begin as to where you’ll end your point!