One of the most challenging aspects of video is interviewing someone for a testimonial. Not everyone has the ability to speak and appear comfortable on camera. So in order to get the most genuine response from the subject (or interviewee), the interviewer has to be adaptive, engaging and inviting.
Here’s five simple tips an interviewer can follow to get the best video testimonial interview for a video or documentary.
- Be warm and welcoming when meeting and greeting the interviewee as they come on set. Engage in small talk while they and are being seated for lighting and audio set-up.
- Take a second to explain again the purpose of the interview again, re-ensuring the interviewee that all video captured of them will be put to use in positive ways. Remind then they don’t have to say everything perfect. We will be editing and using the best parts of their comments. The goal is to be genuine and have a natural conversation.
- Remind the interviewee to try and restate your question within their answer. (Example: What do you feel is most beneficial about having an accreditation? The thing I have found most beneficial about having an accreditation is.….. ) Having them restate the question helps avoid quick responses and provides context to the viewer who will not be hearing the interview question.
- Try as much as you can to engage the interviewee in a real conversation, maintaining good eye contact, and providing affirmation to the key comments they are making.
- If the interviewee becomes frustrated and nervous, stay positive and be empathetic, letting them know you understand how hard it is to speak in front of the camera. Keep reminding them that we are only using selected parts of their interview, and that they are doing much better then they think. Being patient and kind goes along way to help people feel comfortable. Warm smiles are contagious and go along way.