There are many times when videos in a scripted, creative, or dramatised format will be the best choice for meeting your goals and the audience’s exceptions. There are other times when a talking-head style, interview video format will be the best choice for the situations. Talking-head interviews are generally produced using ‘prompted interview’ methods. This ensures that the resulting video is simple, effective and captures the immediacy of a face-to-face interaction. We are social creatures, so many videos need to be made to capture real-world interactions in the best way possible.
Preparing for a Prompted Interview
If you have been invited to participate in a video interview, you are probably questioning how you should best get ready for filming. Here are 7 top tips from video production Reading to help ensure things go as planned on interview day:
1. Don’t Try to Rehearse What You Will Say Word-for-Word
This might seem a little counter-intuitive as it’s often the most high-profile or senior speakers who are tempted to spend hours rehearsing exactly what they will say – but you must resist that temptation. It’s true that conscientious preparation in many of life’s situations produces great results, but trust us when we tell you that a prompted interview on video is not one of those situations. Rehearsed responses to interview questions will nearly always produce “wooden” results. You will sound and look stiff, and as a result, be utterly unconvincing. Audiences are incredibly receptive to inauthentic responses on screen and rehearsed answers will come across as false.
2. Choose an Appropriate Outfit
Avoid wearing any clothing that has logos or slogans, as they will confuse viewers if they appear inconsistent with the overall video branding. Also don’t choose clothes that have busy patterns, spots and stripes and checks. Busy patterns can create a moiré effect on screen and your image will appear covered in strange wavy patterns.
Leave any jangly jewellery at home on the day of the interview. In face-to-face conversations, you probably don’t notice any noise from necklaces and bracelets when talking and gesticulating. However, microphones are very sensitive to such sounds and will pick up every rattle, clink and jingle.
3. Put Your Trust in the Interviewer
A skilled production team will ensure that your prompted interview unfolds in a conversational style, so your responses come across natural and spontaneous. It’s essential that you trust the person interviewing you, so you don’t become stressed if the line of questioning does not take the direction you imagined.
4. Relax and Go With the Flow
Don’t try to be too careful. Allow yourself to let go. Although promoted interviews are directed in a way to steer the conversation to cover the necessary messaging, such interactions can also cultivate some great anecdotes and gems of insight that nobody expected during the pre-production stage. These spontaneous elements can give your video interview a distinctive personality that adds to your message and ensures it is remembered by the audience.
5. Don’t Rush Yourself
When people feel under pressure in front of a camera, they often become fearful of creating any long pauses, so they start talking quickly. People do this as they don’t want viewers to think they are lost for words, but the reality is that slower speakers can leave a more impactful impression on viewers.
6. Remember to Smile
Ensure you smile at the start and end of our interview to make the video more engaging and inviting to the audience. Research has shown that in most countries, you are more likely to gain trust and credibility if you smile. This means smiling during the interview will make more people inclined to believe what you are saying.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Emotions
In a lot of cases, the best footage is captured during the wind-down stage of an interview when the interviewee begins to relax and talk directly from their heart. What you think might be an embarrassing, overly emotional expression often comes across more subdued on screen. Expressing yourself with emotions is necessary to make your message engaging and believable. Show some passion for what you are talking about.