How To Interview Someone On Camera

Posted on May 5, 2011


There are many ways you can prepare for an on-camera interview.  As a producer, you will want to make sure the interviewee is prepared.  Here are a few tips for having a successful on camera interview:

Prior to the filming of the interview:

1.  Prepare the interviewee by telling them what to to expect.  For example:  How long will they be there?  Should they bring a few outfits or tops to change into?  What topics will they be interviewed on?

2.  Make sure they have the release signed to allow use of their footage.

During filming:

3.  Have them hold up a sign with their names spelled correctly and also have the interviewee saying and spelling out their name (out loud) to the camera before starting the interview.

4.  Make sure the interviewee repeats the question you are asking them when they are answering.  For example if you are asking, “How long have you been working for Company X?”  They should answer, “I have been working for Company X for 10 years.”  That way it will be easier to edit later on.

5.  They should be looking at you and not the camera when they are being interviewed.

6.  Make sure they know it should be more of a conversation between you (the producer) and the interviewee.  They do not need to recite or memorize any of the answers to the questions that you will be asking.

7.  Always ask open-ended questions (starting with “How” or “Why”), that way you will more than likely get detailed answers, rather than a simple “no” or “yes.”

8.  A lot of times they are not aware of ticks or movements they may have during the interview, so it might be a good idea to point those out to them to make sure you can use their footage later on.

9.  Sometimes the interviewee is uncomfortable.  Allow them to engage in playful banter or conversation to get the edge off so they are more comfortable with you.

10.  Make sure they know they can “mess up.”  Knowing that they do not have to get it right the first time, allows them to feel more at ease.

Posted in: Advertising