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.
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.
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:
An open-ended question can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no.”
Neither of those are great questions, but you get the idea.
Everybody loves a story. There’s no better way to connect with people or get someone’s attention.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
...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.