We have conducted a lot of video interviews here on ReelSEO, and picked up many, many tips and best practices along the way. Interviews make for valuable content, and there are endless possibilities to interview people in your particular industry, such as though-leaders, industry professionals, and others. We share 9 of those tips with you on this week's Creator's Tip.
How-to Conduct Effective Video Interviews: 9 Great Tips
#1 Do Your Background Research on Your Video Interviewee
Know the background information about the person you’re interviewing. What are their specialty topics? What are their passions? What can they speak authoritatively about? Part of your goal is to make your interviewee look good, so talk about areas you know are strengths for them. Doing this should allow you to pull out the story that you want.
#2 Create a Goal For the Video Interview Before You Start
What information or main point do you want to extract from the interviewee? Know what the goal of the interview is and the direction you want to go before starting. Don’t just start asking random questions and hope you get something good. Know where you want to go with the interview and communicate that to your interviewee ahead of time.
#3 Introduce the Topic to the Viewer
First talk with the audience and take about 15 seconds to tell them what the value of the upcoming interview is going to be. Why should they watch this interview? What benefit will it have for them? What story or value can we expect to get from what’s coming up in this interview.
#4 Introduce Your Guest to the Viewer
Start off the interview with the basics. Who is this person? Why are you talking to them? What makes them credible? These easy questions also often help your interviewee loosen up a bit and feel more relaxed as you set the tone for the rest of the interview.
#5 Ask Really Good Questions!
I almost always write down questions ahead of time. I write questions I feel confident will setup the interviewee to successfully give me the content I'm looking for. It makes them look good and it makes my video more valuable to the audience. Avoid yes and no questions and don’t be afraid to probe a bit more and ask for examples to dig a bit deeper into the interviewee’s responses.
#6 Include the Audience in the Video Interview
Some people tend to just look at each other for the duration of the interview, but that makes the audience feel like they’re left out as the third wheel. They’re just someone merely eavesdropping instead of someone who’s part of the conversation. Make sure you look at the camera frequently to make the audience feel like they’re standing there in the conversation with you.
#7 Pause Briefly Before Asking Each Question
Why? Ask your editor. He or she will LOVE you for it. It makes for good clean cuts when you edit your footage. Let’s say your interviewee talked about 3x longer than he needed to to answer your question. You can cut out 2 thirds of what he said, but if his last statement is still trailing off while the audio of your next question overlaps his, it makes it very tough to edit out that 2 thirds later.
#8 Avoid Speaking While Your Interviewee is Speaking
Your affirming, “yes,” “uh huh,” “ok,” “Oh, I see,” makes it difficult to edit those points in the interview. Say them once in a while when it’s natural and you’re confident that you’ll be keeping that segment in the video, but other than that, try to stay quiet.
#9 Smile Frequently: It Puts Everyone at Ease
Not only does it put your interviewee at ease and help them feel comfortable, but it’s also very inviting for viewers. They probably don’t notice you’re doing it, but your smiles will help them enjoy the interview more and have a more positive feeling about what’s being said.
What are your tips for creating really good interview videos? Let us know in the comments below!