video, interview, video interview, video marketing, content marketing, marketing, video production, production company
With the popularity of video marketing continuing to rise, more and more professionals might find themselves with the daunting task of appearing on camera. It can be an unusual and often nerve-racking prospect for most, but we promise that the experience isn’t as scary as it might seem at first.
When we start a video interview, for example, we’ll always do a few little warm-up questions first to get you feeling more comfortable in front of the camera. You might even find that you enjoy the process once you get going (really!), and once you get a chance to talk with us about the things you’re most passionate about.
Nonetheless, if you’re still feeling a little unsure of how to handle the situation - here are our top tips for nailing your interview and coming across confidently:
We certainly know that it’s easier said than done, and feeling a little self conscious is a completely natural reaction to being put in front of a camera. But this tip is at number one for a reason: the more you’re able to let go of those nerves, the more enjoyable the process will be, and the better the final result will end up.
Don’t worry, few people are able to reel off beautiful answers from the word ‘action,’ and your producer or interviewer should give you at least a couple of takes to re-do something you’re not happy with. The magic of editing also means that any significant stumbles won’t make an appearance in the final video, so you can rest easy.
2. Keep your eyes on the right spot
Depending on the type of video you’re creating, that ‘spot’ can vary slightly - so make sure you’re clarify this with your producer if you’re not certain. For most of our interview-style videos, for example, we’ll be trying to create a sense that the audience is sitting in on a natural conversation. We aim to do this by getting your line of sight level with the camera, but not on the lens itself. Often the best way to achieve this is to keep your eyes locked on the face of the person sitting behind the camera and asking you questions, intense as that may feel at first!
For other videos, where you may want to share a message more directly with your audience, you might be asked to look directly down the lens of the camera. This can be a little intimidating at first and it’s often tempting to flick your eyes away to look around the room - but this can read to the audience like you’re searching for an escape. One piece of advice I heard recently was to “look at the camera as you would your dog,” which - if you’re a pet lover at least - might help you to get across that confidence and sincerity.
3. Be concise
It’s always tempting to ramble when you’re put on the spot, but for most interviews, it’s the concise answers that work best. We usually only have a few minutes (or maybe even less than that) to cover a lot of different talking points, so we’re looking for short, to-the-point soundbites that we can slot in quickly.
You don’t have to rush to get your answer off right away - you’re always welcome to take a moment before you respond to think about the question and how you want to summarise your answer. Hopefully, this will help you to organise your thoughts and by the time you start speaking, you’ll have a stronger idea of where you want to go with it.
4. Don’t stick to a script
We love to see that our contributors have put some thought into what they want to say, but this can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help when they come with a strict script in mind. We often try to avoid setting out specific interview questions, as we sometimes find that our interviewees have thought about their answers so much that they’re now coming across as too rehearsed.
Sometimes, for whatever reason on the day, that script that sounded great in your head doesn’t come out quite right. It’s more helpful for us to just have a natural conversation and follow the most promising train of thought. Preparation is great, but be flexible!
5. Answer with part of the question in your response
When we’re editing your video together, we’ll only be including your answers and not the footage of us actually asking you the questions. That means that the audience won’t have the conext to know what you’re talking about right off the bat, so we need you to phrase your answer in a way that gives this to them.
If we ask you, “What’s the best thing about this product?” And you say “Definitely the user-friendly design!”, the audience wouldn’t know what point you’re making. However, if you phrase it as “The best thing about this product is definitely the user-friendly design” then that makes for a great and informative clip.
Of course, there are more tips to bear in mind if you can: try to be aware of your body language, drink plenty of water to keep your voice strong, do your best not to mumble - but don’t get too caught up trying to worry about all of these things at once. The most important thing is that you try to relax and let your passion and knowledge on the topic shine through. If you can focus on that, you’ll do great.