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How to Make an Interview Video? - A Detailed Business Interview Video Guide

A business interview video adds a flair of individuality to your story, but many people struggle to make one that sounds real and spontaneous. 

Today, we plan to tell you how to make an interview video by taking you through these three steps one-by-one: pre-production, production, and post-production.

The Need for Business Interview Videos

Before we get started on how to make an interview video, here are a few ideas where you might need one for your company:

  • In a testimonial
  • For a case study
  • You may get a chance to interview an influencer or expert related to your niche

You may even have several possible interviewees from which you’re going to cut the best one or a montage. 

Whatever the situation, your business interview video should focus on making the interviewees look great. And at the same time, it should collect the sort of insights that will surprise and engage your audience.

How to Make an Interview Video to Impress your Audience

You can make such videos easily if you know what you’re doing. However, if you don’t know how to make a good interview video, you might end up producing something no one will want to watch. 

To save you from errors in pre-productions, production and post-production stages, we’ve laid out each section for you separately in detail. Let’s dive into the correct ways of making an interview video!

Pre-production Stage of your Business Interview Video

This stage is where you lay down the foundation of your video interview. If you don’t prep well, you might fail in the production stage completely. So, read carefully through all these things you need to do in the pre-production process of your business interview video:

 

  • Correctly Approaching the Desired Result

If you’re looking to make a good interview video, you need to have a clear picture of what you want to achieve. Keeping your goal in mind, and working out the steps to achieve it is called reverse engineering.

So, before the interview, you need to reverse engineer the results you’re trying to get. If the information you’re focusing on is all about how brilliant a new product or service is, you’re not going to get anything authentic or evn mildly interesting. Everything will be meaningless, sugar-coated sound bites obtained from asking, “Why is this (whatever it is) so amazing?”

Therefore, you must look for real insightful information. Let’s see how you can add information and a touch of realness to your business interview videos:

 

Avoid result directing your talent!

If you’re looking to make a good business interview video, you need to avoid this trap our directing mentor, Tony, warned us against plenty of times.

What do we mean by “result directing your talent?”

It means don’t expect someone to know or anticipate the end result you’re looking to have in the final cut.

 

Get rid of leading questions.

In situations like this with an interviewee, you need to avoid asking questions that have answers implied; “Can you tell me a bit about how brilliant I am?” is obviously a leading question, and there are no prizes for guessing how the interviewee will reply. And it isn’t going to be surprising or even vaguely genuine to an audience who is after some authenticity.

 

Plan your business interview video to sound like “Just another chat”.

Although interviews are contrived, the result is supposed to come across as “just a chat” that happened to provide some insights relevant to the viewer. The more your video appears spontaneous to the audience, the better they’ll like it.

 

 

  • Formulating Questions for a Business Interview Video

We’ve already talked about how it’s crucial that you don’t let the thought of your result make your video boring and useless. We’ve also mentioned how you need to stray far away from implied questions. So, that leaves us with the open-ended questions!

 

Why do we need to ask open-ended questions?

In order to add authenticity to your video, you’ve got to formulate questions that allow your talent a certain amount of freedom. There are two benefits of doing that:

  • Your interviewee will become less self-conscious.
  • They will give spontaneous answers better than the “result” you have in mind.

Just invite them to unload their version of the events, and get out of the way!

 

A list of video interview questions to help you out!

Here’s a list of questions we always ask in our business interview videos to give you an idea of what we mean:

  1. “Help me set the scene, what was happening before all this started?”
  2. “Is there a single thing you could put your finger on that made you choose this?”
  3. “Did anything really surprise you?”
  4. “How did that make you feel?”
  5. “What would you say to someone else who was in the same position as you to start with?”

 

Ask follow-up questions to keep your talent on track.

By making your questions open like the above examples, your interviewee will answer in surprising ways which will make your business interview video engaging. However, if you see them going off on a tangent, ask a follow-up question that repeats the query for the second time in a new way, for example, “Ok-so, is that how it made you feel?”

 

 

A word of warning: DO NOT SHARE QUESTIONS BEFOREHAND WITH YOUR SUBJECT. Even if your subject is nervous and begging you for the questions saying they need preparation, don’t give in.

If you don’t know how to reassure your clients, here are a few things that might come in handy:

  • Tell your subject you plan to ask everything straight out of their experience.
  • Reassure them that the interview will be like a chat and your only aim is to make them recall what they already know
  • Make sure they understand that there are no “gotcha’s” and you only plan to make them look good (don’t kid yourself; this isn’t journalism).

You don’t want your perfectly good business interview video ruined with canned answers manicured to within an inch of their lives. So, whatever you do; don’t give them the questions!

 

 

Keep your business interview video under 15 minute.

If your footage exceeds 15 minutes, you probably haven’t prepped those questions well. You should have 5 or 6 core questions at most for your interview video, and then you may allow for follow-up questions or questions to keep your subject on track. 

Don’t forget to mention how long it’ll take because everyone is busy, and need to go about their lives.

 

Selecting a Location for your Video Interview

The next thing to negotiate and prep for is the location. 

Wherever possible, arrange a space that reflects the subject matter, and the talent’s world to give your audience some vital but subtle context. For example, if you’re interviewing a teacher, you should have them in a classroom with desks, tables and a whiteboard out of focus behind them.

However, if you look at it more generally, here’s what an ideal location should have:

  • A good interview set ought to be quiet (ideally-but not always)
  • It ought to allow control of overhead lightning (which is usually awful), and crucially for it to not resemble an interrogation room.
  • It should have some depth behind the interviewee. Nothing says claustrophobia better than some poor sod rammed up against a breeze block wall.

Production Stage of your Business Interview Video

On the production day, you need to have your camera, audio, lights and interviewees ready to make it successful. We’ve noted a few recommendations for your benefit below:

 

  • The Best Lenses for your Video Interview

We’d highly recommend that you use either the Canon nifty 50mm or a similar sharp 35mm or 85mm prime lens for filming your business interview video. 

Even in natural window light, you can drop the background out of focus, and your subjects will pop!

Keep in mind the distance your camera needs to be from your talent before selecting your lens. If you want a mid-shot or a medium close-up from a 50mm, you’ll need to be 3-4 metres away. Suddenly, you need quite a big room!

 

  • Lights Adjustment for your Video Interview

If you’ve got natural lights streaming in through your windows, make a choice depending upon whether the light is likely to change much or not. 

You’ll need bright sunshine or really overcast, and nothing in between for the natural lighting to work well. 

And for the in-between option, go with closing down the curtains, and using your lights so that you won’t need to reset your camera or lights midway through the interview.

A few other light settings you can use for better results are:

  • Motivated lights. When you use a more power artificial light to strengthen where the light is coming from already, you call it a motivated light. So, if there’s a bit of natural light coming from one side of the room, you should ideally have your key-light on that side too.
  • Practical lights. You call it a “practical light” if it’s in the shot. This light, like a desk lamp three or four metres away, isn’t actually going to be putting any light on the side of your subject’s face, but if you add some lighting from that angle as if it were, you’ll make the space deeper and far more richer for your viewer. It’s a classy little touch that’s nice to have once you’ve got all the basics in place.
  • Make for the lack of ambient light. If there’s not enough ambient light bouncing around, one side of your subject’s face might be dark. You don’t want your subject looking dangerous, so add your fill on the darker side too!
  • Audio set up for your Business Interview Video.

For audio, our best advice is that you consider using a shotgun mic and an overhead boom pole instead of a lav. There are two reasons why we’re advising that:

  • There’s something intrusive about putting a lav mic on someone when they don’t really know you.
  • With a lav mic, there’s always a risk of sound interference if your subject’s clothing rubs up against it despite best efforts.
  • Dealing with your Subject on the Production Day

Soothe their nerves.

On the production day, assume you’ll be juggling the nerves of your subject. They probably won’t tell you that they’re nervous, but it’ll be on their mind nevertheless.

Giving them some information about your plan can calm them down a great deal. Tell your subject where you plan to set up and how long you’ll be.

Set up before they arrive.

If you don’t know how to make an interview video successful, let us make it clear that keeping your talent at ease will help a great deal in this regard.

Ideally, you should do all the set up without your subject present because it wastes their time. Plus, this process can make anyone feel really self-conscious, so it’s better to test your lighting set-up on a colleague or an assistant. If you’re by yourself, record some bits and watch them back to see how they’re looking.

Spell out the process for your subject.

Once you’ve invited your subject to sit down, let them know how the process works; we film our business interview videos down the barrel of a camera, but the traditional style is to film someone talking to the interviewer. So, decide the video style you want, and make sure your talent knows where to give their answers.

Take care of their needs before rolling.

Other than everything mentioned above, make sure they have water to drink. After a bit of small talk, let your subject know you’re going to start rolling and fire away with those questions!

Post-Production Stage of your Business Interview Video

Hopefully, you’ve gathered some good stuff up till now. However, we also have a few tips to make the editing process quick and effective.

  • Have Text in Timeline

In the timeline, give yourself some text chunks with the questions written down. These will help you in cataloguing all the answers correctly. Afterwards, you can listen through and cut out all the waffle and outtakes. As you’re going through them, look for a killer statement that can act as a pivot for the beginning. It’s usually clear when you hear it, but you may have a few options too.

  • Start with an Intriguing Statement.

To make a good interview video, you want your viewers to hear something compelling or even cryptic in the beginning, as long as the meaning becomes clear later. It makes them think it’s new information, and they’re more likely to keep watching.

  • Make the most of your Subject’s Network.

Your subject will likely be showcasing their narrative and brand among their people. So, when it comes to distribution, you can often use the network of your interviewee. They’ll put your work in front of a different audience for you.

Put your Knowledge of How to Make an Interview Video to Good Use!

If you’ve stuck with us till now, you now have all the tips to make your business interview video a hit. Sticking with us turned out to be useful, no? 

So, why not stay with us a little longer and check out this video on the best studio lens for beginners which will give an in-depth look at the 50mm we mentioned earlier, and of course, subscribe to our YouTube channel because we’ve got channel growth covered from production to strategy. 

Also read our blog after you’ve made that video of yours!