How to Prepare for a Great Interview
Video interviews are the driving force for much of the content we watch today. Whether it be a documentary film, a corporate marketing video or a simple social share. The fact is, video has the power to influence, entertain and motivate your audience making it the most effective way to engage with customers and prospects. If you are about to incorporate video into your marketing efforts, you may already have people in mind who could speak about a certain topic or know the history of your company better than anyone else. So how do you prepare yourself or your colleague for a great video interview?
Here are 3 tips on how to prepare for a great video interview.
1- Know what your audience wants.
The most important point to consider is who you’re targeting and what’s important to THEM. Research what your customers want, need and are concerned about as it relates to your industry, then write down all the ways your product or service will benefit them. Craft interview questions around things that matter to your customers or prospects and provide information in a way that keeps them engaged and informed. So much of the content our culture consumes today is “short form” so it may be wise to create a series of short videos that lead customers through your sales funnel for example. Another very basic example of saving time in your video is your introduction. A lower 1/3 title graphic can provide your name and title, so you don’t have to introduce yourself every time. Instead, focus on creating an interesting story with a beginning, middle and end, then write questions based on that architecture.
2- Scripted or unscripted, keep your answers short.
While some people are very comfortable on camera, many are nervous, particularly if the information they need to discuss is long or technical in nature. Therefore, certain people may require a script and a teleprompter. An experienced producer or professional video production company can help determine what is best for your video. Either way, it’s a good idea to write interview questions based on the story architecture you and/or your producer have developed.
When asking a question, expect that the person being interviewed may reply in run-on sentences and remember that time is of the essence and the majority of content that people watch today require answers that are concise and to the point. That said, it can be helpful to review this with the person being interviewed so they have time to formulate their answers around the key points in the story.
While filming, ask the person being interviewed to incorporate the question you’re asking them into the answers they give. This often helps the story make more sense and flow better. Even if it ends up being edited out, it’s better to have it than wish you did.
3- Smile, Relax, Be Yourself.
When you know the answer to a question, it’s easy to answer it right?
Put a camera, lights, microphone and perceived pressure from a room full of people to nail all the answers and the interview suddenly becomes difficult. That’s why It’s so important to work through details and production particulars in advance so the person being interviewed feels prepared, relaxed, and your must-have content is addressed prior to filming. Yes, there are always exceptions, like professional actors or perhaps the CEO is great on camera. However, the most important way to prepare for a great video interview is to formulate questions/answers in a friendly, relaxed and informative way.
Nerves, stage fright, call it what you will… it happens to most people. That’s why selecting the right talent, choosing a studio or location, wardrobe, lighting, set design, props. It all matters to the overall look and feel of the video. Work with a producer or professional video production company who truly understands the art of storytelling and implements best practices to ensure interviews translate to what your audience wants. There are many things to consider in order to produce great video content. Formatting questions to create a good story is just one of them.