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Employee Videos Are Good When They’re Good

May 16, 2018

A good employee interview or testimonial video makes a powerful recruiting tool—but the key word there is “good.”

It’s easy to make a bad video: one that feels contrived, boring, or even unintentionally funny. We’ve all seen them, and to be sure yours makes the good list, follow these guidelines.

Don’t fake real.

It's often painfully or comically obvious when a person is singing someone else's tune, so ditch the scripts and talking points. You want authentic perspectives, experiences, and examples that can only come from the people you're speaking with. Stuff that can’t be impersonated.

Get ‘em talking.

Consider it a conversation first. Sure, you have a list of questions to be answered and blanks to be filled in, but never approach the interview like an exam (or the person like a student). The questions give you some basic structure, but you want free flow within them. To accomplish that:

Leave questions open-ended.

An open-ended question can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no.”

  • So here’s a close-ended question: Do you like your job?
  • And here’s an open-ended question: What do you like about your job?

Neither of those are great questions, but you get the idea.

Ask for stories and real-life examples.

Everybody loves a story. There’s no better way to connect with people or get someone’s attention.

Be okay if you don’t get answers to everything.

Yes, you want a well-rounded talk, but ultimately, one or a few great answers are better than a dozen “meh” responses. Keep in mind, too, that if you’re interviewing several people, you can use their best answers to different questions.

Give it time.

Nothing kills an interview like a time crunch. “Hey, tell your life story. You’ve got 3 minutes. Go!”

People need enough time to feel at ease. The camera itself takes some getting used to. Combine that with a fast pace, and you’ll get either a total flop or an action flick. But you don’t want either of those. You want a human drama, and that takes some extra time.

Besides scheduling enough time for the interview, try to give people plenty of advanced notice and, preferably, a list of questions or discussion topics to prep for.

Give it up.

Sometimes an interview just doesn’t work out. The person completely freezes up or turns a cold shoulder, and there’s just nothing you can do to warm them up. If that’s the case, there’s no harm in tactfully ending the talk, thanking them, and moving on to the next person.

Hire a good crew.

It doesn’t take a full studio to produce a professional interview, but at the very least, you want a good HD camera (and cameraman), microphones, and some basic lighting.

You also need someone to edit the footage into a finished product. Otherwise, it’s going to feel low budget, and even if the interview itself is great, the lack of quality will detract from it.

If you don’t have the production capabilities in-house, consider hiring some pros. (We can recommend some great ones.)

Those are the guidelines, but...

...here are some sample questions just to get you thinking. These are geared to the trucking industry since that’s our wheelhouse, but you could adapt them however needed.

Sample Questions for Newer Drivers

  • How did you decide to get into trucking? What were you doing before?
  • As a newer driver, what’s surprised you the most? What do you want fellow new drivers to know?
  • Are there any truck driving myths that you’d like to dispel?
  • How’s your training been with this company?
  • How does the company support and back you up? Who’s been the biggest help?
  • Describe your typical day.
  • What has trucking afforded you? Opportunities? Advantages?
  • What do you see for yourself down the road?
  • What would you tell someone considering a career in trucking?

Sample Questions for Veteran Drivers

  • How many years have you been driving? Miles logged?
  • What are the keys to having a long-term trucking career? What’s contributed to your success?
  • How has the industry/company changed over your career?
  • How long have you been with this company? What convinced you to start here and stay?
  • As someone who knows the industry, what stands out about this company?
  • What is your favorite trucking memory or experience?
  • If you could give any advice to upcoming or inexperienced drivers what would it be?
  • How many different trucks have you had?
  • Where’s your favorite place to drive? Which state? Stretch of highway?
  • What lies ahead for you? What are your plans?
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