10 tips on interviewing for online video.

In today’s digital age, many businesses are moving away from investing in traditional broadcast media and are opting to produce online videos. Marketing a video through a business’s online channels, such as a website, social media sites or email, enables a business to better target and interact with their audience . It is therefore not surprising that videos are projected to account for 69% of online consumer activity by 2017, according to a recent CISCO report.

Online videos that market a business or product often feature interviews with consumers or an audience. Conducting interviews can be a valuable practice for a business as it facilitates engagement with the benefit of being able to gather qualitative research. However, producing videos can take up a lot of time, money and resources. This is why it is crucial to understand how to effectively interview for film and capture quality usable footage. 

10 tips on effectively interviewing for camera. 

  1. Prepare interview questions.
  • Preparing 5 – 10 questions gives you a framework for interviewing.
  • Consider what type of information you want to find out and how to best ask it. Is there something unique or interesting about the interviewee?
  1. Avoid questions that can be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
  • Avoid leading questions or questions that only require yes or no answers. Your questions should be asked in a way that encourages an interviewee to voice their thoughts. Instead of asking “Are you happy with the product?” you could ask “What are some of the benefits you have experienced from the product?”
  1. Explore answers.
  • Be prepared to go off track and investigate something interesting the interviewee says. Sometimes the best responses are spontaneous.
  1. Ask the interviewee how they feel.
  • Asking the interviewee how they feel about something may entice an emotional response. It also encourages a personal response as opposed to answering in a way they think they should.
  1. Make the interview comfortable.
  • Start with some general banter and free flowing conversation to warm up the interviewee. This will encourage the interviewee to speak naturally and gives them a chance to adjust to being in front of the camera. 
  1. Get the interviewee to repeat questions back.
  • It is important to get the interviewee to repeat back your questions back as they will most likely be cut out in the editing process.
  1. Don’t share your questions with the interviewee
  • If an interviewee views the questions beforehand, they are likely to try to memorise responses and their answers can become less natural. 
  1. Position yourself appropriately
  • As the interviewer, position yourself to either side of the camera, creating an off-screen approach.
  • When a subject looks directly at the camera it makes it appear as though they are speaking directly to the audience and can be awkward. Remind the interviewee to lock eyes with you and not the lens.
  1. Talking less is more
  • Once you ask a question remain quiet while the interviewee is answering. Any noise has the potential to sabotage a shot, particularly interjecting comments or sounds of agreement such as “Hmm” or “Yes, indeed”. People often require reassurance when speaking but it’s important to communicate this using facial expressions or hand signals.
  • It is also important not to speak until a few seconds after the interviewee has finished talking. Speaking straight away can make for a difficult cut in the editing process. You may also be surprised what an interviewee’s facial expression can portray after commenting.
  1. Brief the interviewee
  • Before rolling the camera, talk the interviewee through some of these tips so they know what is going on. You may have to remind the interviewee throughout the shoot but at least they are prepared for it.

Talk to us about online video and content marketing. 


Photo credit: Mark Klotz