A well-prepared interviewee makes for a great video

Let’s be honest: we weren’t all born to be in front of the camera. So when it comes to finding great talent for your next corporate video, it’s important you scope out all your options.

Whether we like it or not, who you choose to front your corporate video or voice your explainer video has the potential to make or break it. Your interview talent needs to be prepared. They need to know what they’re talking about. And above all else, they need to be engaging.

So how do you prep your video interviewee when they’ve never done this kind of thing before? As the interviewer, filmmaker and all-round video production extraordinaire, you actually have a lot more control over the final result regardless of the person who’s in front of the camera than you might have thought. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Tell them that mistakes are OK

Many people freak out at the mere sight of a camera. They think that anything they say could be held against them forever. To prevent your interviewee’s fear coming across in their interview, it’s important to make them feel comfortable. Reassure them that mistakes are fine. If they tangle up their words, you can just shoot another take. Explain to them that the video will be edited so you can cut all the bad bits out. The more relaxed they feel and the more themselves they can be, the more successful the video will be.

Ask them to rephrase the question in their answer

Just like yes/no answers are incredibly annoying, so too are answers on video that don’t give context to the question. Most videos will remove the initial questions asked by the interviewer in editing, and while some videos might ‘ask’ the questions in text onscreen, this doesn’t always look professional. To give your editor more options and to provide context to your viewer, encourage your video interviewee to include the question in the first bit of their answer. For example, if the question is, “Why did you love Auckland University so much?”, the answer could be, “I loved my time at Auckland University because the classes were great, my tutors were really hands-on, and the social life was awesome,” rather than, “Because the classes were great, my tutors were really hands-on, and the social life was awesome.”

Make sure they’re prepared for stoppages

Video production isn’t often seamless. In fact, it’s quite normal to have to stop and start regularly to get the job done. Before you get started, inform your interviewee that there will probably be stoppages related to anything from excess background noise and microphone rubbage, to video cards running out of storage and people walking behind the shot. The more prepared they are, the less distracted they’ll be if it happens.

Boost their ego a bit

You’re probably not an expert in alpaca farming or the global financial downturn, which is why you’re interviewing someone who is. Before you get started, put yourself out there and admit that you don’t know much about this subject, so if some of the questions seem a bit odd, it’s simply because you’re a video production expert, not someone who works in their field. If they feel comfortable about talking to you upfront, the result will be a confident face in front of the camera when the final edit comes around too. The knowledge that you’re not an expert will also encourage your interviewee to reduce the amount of jargon they use in their answers – because chances are the people watching the final video aren’t experts either.

‘Concise’ is the magic word

No one likes to listen to a rambler – and rambling makes it far harder to edit too. Encourage your interviewee to make clear and concise responses, particularly if they’re not the only one being interviewed. Don’t be afraid to ask them to redo their answers too. If the content is good but you know there just won’t be enough time to fit it all in, stop the interview, reassure them that the answer was great, but ask them to do it again and in half the time this time.

Need a hand with producing your own company video, corporate video or explainer video? Onepost Video Production, now based in Auckland, produces expert videos for savvy clients all over New Zealand. Contact them today for a free quote and check out the work they’ve done for other people.

Video production auckland, video production, explainer videos