Documentary-style marketing videos are strong because the backbone of them is the interviews. We love them … seriously they are the best.

To have great videos you first have to know how to conduct interviews. Especially when a camera is bearing down on the interviewee. That red light is blinking away.

It all comes down to how well they tell their story on camera.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re conducting an interview.

  1. Share the subject
  2. Start with the easy questions
  3. Be thoughtful with your questions
  4. Remind the interviewee to include context
  5. Redo the most important content at the end

Before the interview even begins you can bring down the level of anxiety by sharing the topics. Don’t share the exact questions because the interviewee will try to prepare and memorize. This is the worst thing that can happen. They’ll mess up, forget something and then freeze. Your interview is now officially over.

Start with the easy questions. This will also allow you to remind them that they need to give context to their answers.

One of the easiest ways to show what you mean by context is this exchange.

You: I’m going to ask a few questions, and I need you to remember that when we edit the video my question will not be there.

Them: Ok.

You: So when I ask if the sky is blue? And you answer …

Them: Yes.

You: The final video will just be you saying, yes.

This description is one of the easiest ways to help them understand, and they will pick up bits and pieces in your question to restate them in their own words.

Them: The sky is a beautiful shade of blue today. I don’t think we’ll be seeing rain this week.

We recommend Only coming in with a few questions or topics to cover. Normal people are not actors, and they can’t do it for hours on end, repeating the same thing multiple times.

But remember, it’s okay to go back to the beginning and repeat some questions. Guage your interviewee. Are they getting tired? You’ll notice this when they start shortening their answers. 

Most of our video projects center around interviews. Their stories make great marketing videos.

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