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Tips for interviewing on camera

The following list was developed to help a local Girl Scouts troop. You can read about that experience here.

We think these tips could be helpful in many situations. Feel free to put these to use and to share with others. Let us know if you have any success stories with these, and if you would recommend any changes.

Tips for interviewing on video

1)      Stay quiet — Every noise you make is heard on camera.

  1. Ask your question and hush up. You can silently acknowledge responses, but stay quiet.
  2. Your No. 1 goal is to never have your voice heard in the final video.
  3. Turn off your cell phone or anything else that might make noise.
  4. Don’t wear jewelry that makes noise
  5. Don’t fidget or move your chair bump into things

2)      Eliminate distractions

  1. Find a quiet place that other people will not intrude upon.
  2. You don’t want your subject to be looking off camera.
  3. You don’t want your audience looking behind your subject.

3)      Ask questions that require a complete answer

  1. A “yes” or “no” response offers nothing of value
  2. Frame questions along the lines of, “Tell me about a time when … “
  3. Be patient. Encourage the subject to take their time and think before answering. Wait as long as you can after you think they are done talking. You can edit out all the pauses.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask the same question in a variety of ways to get a complete answer.

4)      Careful with that camera

  1. Fill the frame with your subject.
  2. Take two steps forward.
  3. Avoid zoom.
  4. Try to sit behind the camera so that the subject is looking toward the lens.

5)      Plan ahead

  1. Do your homework

i.      Learn as much as you can about your subject and the topic of the interview before you sit down.

ii.      Write out a lot of questions

iii.      Plan your setting. Will it be quiet and comfortable? Good lighting?

  1. Check you equipment before arriving

i.      Batteries charged?

ii.      Do you have all the cords you’ll need?

iii.      Microphone?

iv.      Lights?

v.      Plenty of tape or disc space?

  1. Check your equipment again before starting the interview

6)      Be a reporter

  1. Listen carefully to the answers

i.      Stray from your planned questions if you hear something interesting

ii.      Ask you subject to explain if you don’t understand an answer. If you don’t understand it, no one will.

  1. Take notes

i.      Write down questions you want to follow up on

ii.      Writing notes will help you stay quiet

iii.      Your notes will help you in the editing

7)      Have fun!

  1. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your subject will be

8)      The last question for EVERY interview

  1. “What else should we talk about?”