Within corporate video production, interviews show up frequently, regardless of the type of project you’re working on. Whether it’s a testimonial video , a product video, or an event coverage production, odds are there will be lights, audio, and camera on hand shooting an interview.
As a client and interview subject, arriving to an interview can be nerve-racking. Delivering your lines with bright lights shining at you and cameras rolling may not be your comfort zone. Don’t worry too much though, because if the video production team on hand is equipped with skill and experience, the interview interview process should be seamless. While much of the technical aspects will be covered by the production crew, we thought we would outline some aspects of video interviews that you and your company can begin thinking about now to help things go more smoothly.
Location Location Location
This is just as true for video interviews as anything else. Your production company will be able to help you make sure you have the perfect spot for interviews when they arrive, but having a couple of great options ready for them always helps. For starters, make sure that you pick a shooting location with enough space. Creating depth is important for a video interview, not only because you want the cameras to be far enough from the subject, but also because the background should fall out from behind them which you need space between your camera and subject to accomplish.
The next thing to consider is what kind of background you want. In order to make this decision, think about the atmosphere you want to convey in your interview. If you’re doing a corporate video about company culture or a recruitment video, you may want to shoot towards an open office. This is can be an interesting use of space, while also creating a sense of atmosphere unique to your company and office space. If you’re making a corporate launch video or a highlighting the professional achievements of your company, you may want to put your subjects behind their desks to convey professionalism and strength.
In either case be careful of windows. Natural light is great, but as anyone who has tried taking a picture with the sun behind them knows, it can be difficult to shoot directly towards a bright open window.
Note: Though quiet rooms are ideal for interviews; the more versatile professional production companies are able to make it work in any environment. Producers understand that your business won’t shut down for the day, so they have methods to work through the noise and bustle.
Deciding On Your Video Interview Clothes
The most important thing when it comes to choosing what to wear for your interview day is always comfort. This doesn’t mean come in wearing sweatpants (unless that’s what you wear to work normally), but rather you should wear something that you feel like yourself in. Before anything else, we want the subject to feel mentally at ease, physically comfortable, and in a position where they can speak as genuinely as possible. Beyond that choose something that is in line with your company guidelines on clothing. A good rule of thumb that corporate video production companies often tell clients is to dress like you have an important meeting with a client.
Next up are the visuals of the wardrobe. Aside from simply looking presentable, it’s key that the subject’s clothing is not a visual distraction. It’s best to stay away from wearing solid white, as it tends to blow out the image. Colorful patterns should be avoided as well. Instead, the interview subject is best off wearing a solid color that will look nice on camera in any environment.
Other factors should also be considered while dressing for a corporate video interview. Jewelry, for example, may look great, but large, clunky necklaces or loud bracelets can sometimes be picked up by audio. Clothing with logos are generally to be avoided also, unless of course, it’s your company’s brand.
When it doubt, bring more than one! It’s never a bad idea to come to a video interview with a few options for shirts just in case.
Hair and makeup are also a huge part of looking nice for your shoot day. It’s often smart to show up camera-ready with all your hair and makeup done, though most companies will have hair and makeup kits to help touch people up as they go. Now that you’re caught up on dress and ready to impress, let’s dig into the content of the interview.
What to Say and Where to Look
Dealing with the content of the interview is something a production company can help you with in the early stages if you’re not feeling entirely comfortable on your own. In pre-production, the producer and client will discuss the areas is that they’d like to hit on in the interview, and figure out which are the relevant interview questions for your production. This can vary depending on the type of corporate video that is being made though so it's important to understand the basics.
For corporate testimonial interviews, the content will revolve around the subject sharing their experience with the product and service and the utility they receive from it. The sound bites you’re working toward will convey trust and honesty. On the other hand, business profile videos set out to speak to different emotions. The interviews should capture a sense of accomplishment from the subject in order to establish their business as a thought leader. There are also corporate recruiting videos which speak to work/life balance and product videos that touch upon the technical aspects of how the product or service works. Regardless of the type of corporate video, it’s important for the production crew and the client to target what it is they want to achieve through the interview, and if that means writing out a detailed outline of potential answers, then all the better for both parties.
Different messages require different shooting styles as well. So when filming an interview, bear in mind that camera orientation matters. For certain videos the subject will look off to the side as if they’re having an intimate conversation, while in others, the subject will look directly down the barrel of the camera, to establish authority on the topic. When working on a video interview, it’s valuable to remember that it’s a collaborative project between the video team and the client. There’s no right or wrong, just one message that needs to be communicated in the most effective way possible.
The Corporate Video Interview Itself
It can be daunting to be on camera for the first time by yourself; however, the best producers know how to put their subject at ease during the video interview. When you’re on camera for the first time as a subject, you should expect a video producer sitting across from you, walking you through the process, and carrying you through an intimate conversation.
At the start of the interview, the interviewer will lay down the guidelines. A good interviewer will say “Always repeat the question in you answer.” Since the interviewer’s questioning voice will be cut, this ensures that the audience has a complete context for the answer given. Interviews are all about sending a clear, cohesive message, and the interviewer is right there by the side of the camera keeping them on track and speaking directly to them.
The most important thing to remember when you’re doing an interview is that it’s 100% okay to mess up! You can make mistakes and start over whenever you want. When the editor’s piece it together in post-production, it’s always their goal to make the subject look and sound as amazing as possible. Start from the beginning and don’t worry if you stutter or make a mistake…you’ll look great in the end so try to relax as much as possible!
Don’t Worry About the Rest
A lot of times when conducting a corporate interview, the subject will feel a certain pressure to say the right thing in exactly the right way. Obsessively memorizing lines, or rehearsing can build a pressure that can disrupt the natural flow of the interview. The best way to avoid this is to sit back and allow the production team to guide you through the tricky parts.
It is always the producer’s job to get the subject to say what they need, because most likely, the subject is not responsible for memorizing lines. Producers should be delivering questions that lead to getting answers they want in a calm, collected, and most of all, natural way. Producers will very rarely ask you to parrot lines back to them, since in the ideal interview world, producers help you read lines without you knowing that you’re doing it.
When all is said and done and the interview is wrapped, it’s often difficult to see why there were any nerves in the first place. A great corporate video interview production should function like an efficient doctor’s office; with each member of the crew playing their role to make the subject as comfortable as possible while carrying out their job. So if you’re the patient, sit back, relax, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and allow the process to take its place.
Contact us today to talk about how a video interview can help your marketing strategy!