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How to Make the Perfect Interview Videos

Woman at the interviewInterviews are an excellent way to engage your audience with topics that they find interesting. Even more, it’s a great way to showcase your video creating skills, too.

However, interview videos aren’t as easy as what people may seem. Although it only centers around a person speaking in front of the camera, there are various factors that you need to consider to make sure that it’s interesting enough for your audience.

The primary purpose of interview videos

You’ve probably seen a couple of news and documentary programs on television or in movies. If you may have observed, the interviewees often talk on the camera or with the interviewer in every scene. It may be easy at first glance, but doing an interview can have various variables that you need to check to ensure that everything’s all right. Remember that the audience will focus on the interviewee alone. So, there’s nothing else to distract them in case anything goes wrong.

As such, it can be frustrating to shoot a video, mostly if you haven’t done it before. Remember that interviews are all about the tiny details, which can make your subject look more appealing. So, once your interviewee is in front of the camera, you need to ensure that their appearance will make them look credible. This video style tends to be personal and more up close, which means that the interviewee might be an expert in the video’s topic. In most cases, audiences love an authentic and raw interview. It’s an excellent way to give them an idea of what the story is all about or probably their subject’s point of view.

The importance of interview videos

Interviews exude authenticity

If you want to know the truth about particular cases, doing an interview is ideal for getting information from the people involved. It provides unscripted insight from a specialist that most journalists use it to build their story.

Interviews are ideal for storytelling

You don’t need to talk to an expert about something all the time, especially when they’re long gone. Sometimes, even the small details like an anecdote of a witness or an expert can work, too.

The interview gives you an insider’s access

Some interviews can grant you access to information that isn’t always available to the public. It’s a meaningful way to get someone’s perspective, especially if it’s coming from notable people or celebrities.

Interviews require less effort to produce

Although it can get complicated at first, interviews have barebone requirements when setting it up. The basic set up only needs a one-angle set up to make it work. You can even use a smartphone to do it, too. But ideally, you need to have a microphone, tripod, and camera to get the best quality.

The interview footage is reusable

Interview clips add a touch of personality and authenticity to any video. You can use it in social media posts or even for films and case studies. It’s ideal for explainer videos and even company videos that tell about its culture, too.

How to use interview videos

You can use interview videos in several ways, especially when it comes to your business. It’s an exciting way to create brand awareness and explain your business concept. You can even use it to attract potential leads to your business, too. So, here is where you can use interview questions effectively.

Website

You can use interview videos and add them to various pages of your website. You can either place it on the customer service page, landing page, or even in the “About” section. It’s ideal for product pages, too. In other words, you can place it on any page that can help elaborate about your company or product or help you tell the page’s story.

Email

Email is another way to use interview videos on your business. Interview clips coming from the business leaders or your CEO can help create an engaging piece of content. It fits well with customer service newsletters and internal emails to help spread information to your business community. Meanwhile, your sales service department can use it to educate potential customers about your products.

Podcasts

If you’re looking for another way to market your business, uploading interview clips into your podcast video is an excellent choice. You can also include full interviews to support a theme of any one of your episodes. It works best on video or audio podcasts.

Social Media

Out of all the ways to use interview videos, perhaps social media is the most effective. Since almost everyone has access to every social media platform, posting it on these sites is a great way to get in touch with your target market. For easy uploads, you can break the interview video into short clips. You should also include a call to action message that’ll encourage them to click a link that goes to your player or landing page where they can access the shorter version.

Interview varieties

Talking head interview

Talking head interviews is the most basic type of interview video that you can learn as a beginner. It involves a solo speaker framed from the chest up to let the audience focus on their message.

The talking-head video suits projects like documentaries and business introductions. It also suits content that aims to communicate the truth. It could be in the form of an interview with an expert or an authentic account of experience or events.

When you’re off-camera, it’s always best to ask your guest to repeat your question in the interview. For example, if you’ll be asking them how long have they been working at your company, their response should start with “I’ve been working at X company for…” instead of giving you short answers. Asking your guest to do it in this manner will make it easier to edit the interview together.

Conversational interviews

Another interview video type that you can consider is the conversational interviews. Most people commonly know it as talk show formats or on-location interviews. It’s a real team conversation style, which makes it feel more authentic.

In most cases, producers choose a famous personality that viewers find relatable. They often have good conversational skills, making the guests feel comfortable to open up to them. It would help if you also chose someone confident and can deliver the right questions to guide the conversation flow.

Conversational types of interviews can be quite tricky to accomplish, especially if you haven’t done it before. To get more tips, you can watch how Katy Couric discusses a few pointers that can help you conduct conversational interviews with such efficiency.

Remote interviews

From the name itself, people conduct interviews from a distance. Thanks to technology, video calls have now made it easy to do it even on a conversational or talking head style of interview. However, there are a couple of things that you need to know to make it successful.

Software application: Several video chat platforms allow you to record your webcam session using a plugin or an in-app. However, you need to find the right software and test it before doing the interview. Make sure to do it a couple of days before the interview so that you wouldn’t encounter any problems once your guest is on the other line.

Visual interest: Since you’ll do everything remotely, you need to consider adding visual appeal to the interview to catch your viewer’s attention. You can try switching between the split screen and full screen to create some variations. You can consider adding a b-roll, too.

Branding: Lastly, don’t miss out on the opportunity to promote your brand. You can try including your logo or a few graphic borders that represent your business. Adding on-screen text can help, too. Although they may seem simple, it’s an effective way to let your audience see your brand. Thus, helping with its recall.

Walk-and-talk interviews

Perhaps one of the most challenging types of interviews to pull off is walk and talk. The host needs to be naturally charming enough to make the viewers comfortable to open up. Simultaneously, the camera crew needs to be agile to make sure that they capture the guest’s crucial reactions, too. That’s why everyone must be well-coordinated to ensure that everyone can synchronize their movement.

“The Follow” interviews

In most situations, interview videos only follow the flow of conversation. However, it can be challenging to pull off, especially for amateurs. Keep in mind that aside from having the right set of questions, you need to think about the audio, camera people, and the hosts, too.

Interview video step-by-step guide

Identify your goal

The first step that you need to take is defining your interview’s purpose. Do you want to boost your brand’s awareness or explain a complex topic? Perhaps you want to lead a movement within a particular industry, too. Narrowing things down can help make it easier for you to make the right decision.

Pick the right guest.

When choosing the right person to interview, you need to ensure that the guest will represent your purpose. If you want to educate your audience about a particular topic, choosing a subject matter expert is a great idea. Meanwhile, if you’re going to share a success story, then select someone involved with the event. On the other hand, if you want to lead a movement, it’s best to choose an industry thought leader to share his opinion. Whatever your purpose may be for doing the interview, you need to pick a confident and well-spoken person to speak your interview’s purpose.

Conduct thorough research

If you are the interviewer, you need to understand the topic before shooting any questions. It’ll make you feel more confident when asking intelligent questions, too. Knowing more about the subject will also make it easier for you to rephrase the items or add context to it if needed.

Frame your questions

Keep in mind that interviews can be spontaneous. It would help if you prepared the questions earlier to make sure that you won’t go into disarray. Framing your questions will also serve as a guide so that you won’t miss any crucial information. Once you have the list of all the questions, try to arrange them in a way that’ll help you build a story. Try to start with a couple of easy ones to make your guests feel at ease. Then, you can continue asking more in-depth questions as you go along.

Select the right setting.

When filming an interview, you need to ensure that the interviewee isn’t in front of a beige-colored wall. That’s because this color tends to relax people, which might bore your viewers. So, make sure that your location serves your video’s purpose to get your audience’s interest. If you have a specific area to film your interview, consider designing the set and decorate it according to your video’s theme. You can even include branded designs if you feel that it’s appropriate for your project.

Meanwhile, if you’re shooting anywhere else, try to choose a spot that can somehow describe your subject. For example, if you’re interviewing an actor, then consider doing it on the set. Expect that there will be times when you won’t have as much control as you want during an interview. But when done correctly, these factors can make your video enjoyable.

Use the right lighting.

When doing your interview shoots, you must have the proper lighting at all times. Try to have your subject face natural light if possible. If not, then you can use a three-point lighting system to illuminate your setting. It’s crucial to use the right kind of lighting to compliment your guest’s facial highlights.

Do a sound test.

Your video’s audio is one of the essential parts of your project. That’s why it’s crucial to test your USB mic or lavalier mic to ensure that it’s working as it should. It would be best if you considered bringing headphones with you, too. Doing so will make it easier for you to isolate the in-room sound from the recorded audio. It would be best if you also were wary of the clothing when doing a sound test. Microphones tend to rustle up against the clothing that you might be wearing. So, making sure that the audio captures the speaker’s spoken word is essential.

Start editing.

Finally, you can now put all the interview pieces together to create a flow from each question. You can start by piecing together all the clips, visuals, and on-screen text. Next, getting the right music is a must to set the video’s tone. Fortunately, you can find on our website royalty-free music for any taste, in different genres and moods. We have music tracks that users can use for free with attribution, single track licenses, and also unlimited subscription plans.

Primary tools and techniques that you need to learn

Aside from the camera and the lens, there are several tools that you need to learn to capture everything during the interview. Let’s talk about each component and how you can use them effectively.

Lighting

Proper lighting plays a crucial role in the quality of your video. So, if you want to learn more things about it, then it’s best to know the right way to position it. One technique you can use as a guide is three-point lighting. It’s when you put two lights on each side of the subjects while placing the third one at the back. Doing so effectively fills up the light to reduce any shadows.

Diffusor

Meanwhile, a diffuser helps you spread out the lights so you can maximize it. Understanding how to diffuse the light properly can affect the entire look of your lighting. Thus, making it look more polished and professional-looking. Now, you don’t need an expensive set of diffusers immediately, especially if you only want to try it out. You can always try to improvise by using particular objects around you. For example, you can use a shower curtain to act as a diffuser and a C-stand to hold it in place.

Microphone

It’s also a must-have a fully-functioning audio system to capture recording as clearly as possible. Most professionals prefer a shotgun mic to capture the audio. Although it can be a bit expensive, you can guarantee that you’ll get the best audio quality possible. On the other hand, if you can’t use a shotgun mic to capture the host and the guest’s audio, then you can also consider using a wireless lavalier mic setup to do the job. You need to ensure that it’s well-hidden so that it won’t distract your audience.

Lining everything up

Now that we’ve discussed the tools you need to film your interview video, it’s about time to learn a couple more techniques to make it as polished as possible. Choosing the right lens is an example. Some professionals prefer to use a 32mm lens to make the shots more intimate and exciting. Meanwhile, others prefer an 85mm lens when capturing faraway shots.

Another tip that you need to remember is the camera level. You need to ensure that the camera is set on the interviewee’s eye line to make the scenes more credible. For example, if your guest looks directly at the camera, it will read as if the interviewee is directing the message to the audience. However, it doesn’t happen all the time. In fact, in most cases, interviewees often look at the side to make it feel more conversational.

So, try to experiment on your own and learn each of the techniques to help you create your first interview video. Start by conceptualizing everything down to the camera positioning to ensure that the final output ends up polished. Remember that your goal is to tell a story. So, try to get rid of any part or factor that may confuse your audience when they see your project.