5 Steps To Get Your Interviewees "Interview Ready"

If you need to grab a client testimonial or interview employees in your business, but you’ve had mixed results or perhaps a shakey start, then often it’s about how you set up and brief your interviewees prior to starting.

Remeber - for many this is a nerve-wracking thing that you’ve asked them to do.

So in today’s episode of How to Shoot Video for Your Business, Head Beard Bruce talks through his 5-step process to briefing his interviewees. This briefing, which has been built from experience of 6-7 years worth of interviews, really helps to create a structured process around interviewing people.

Now the first thing to note is that this process doesn’t specifically get people comfortable on camera - you still need to be the reassuring person on set to get this to happen.

Instead, this list is more of a prep-list so that you’re ready to shoot and have fewer mistakes when you are shooting and editing.

Tip 1 - Ask to Start with Clean Sentences

When you go to edit your interviews or testimonials having someone who always starts their sentences with an ‘uhm’, ‘erh’, ‘if’, ‘so’ or a ‘but’ will make your editing a nightmare. If you leave the word into the edit it stops the story you’re trying to tell from flowing and taking it out can also harm the flow - especially if the words flow into one another.

We don’t really mind the odd ‘err’ within a sentence - it shows a natural speech pattern, but consistently having it at the start can really become frustrating.

Tip 2 - Getting Context

Asking your interviewee to provide context to their answers will really help provide a better interview to edit. A lot of this will come down to how you structure a question (read and watch more here).

The length and structure of the answer you are provided with, is often setup by the question you ask to start with.

So for example, if you were to attend a days learning workshop and then be asked;

“Can you describe what happened and what you learnt in today’s workshop”

and then

“Can you give me a quick overview of today’s workshop?”

It’s likely that for the first question you would provide a lot more detail, and therefore a longer response when compared to the second question.

I talk about this further as part of this video

Tip 3 - Get Rid of Phones

The practical reason we give to get rid of an interviewee’s phone is that often it interferes with the wireless mic packs that we run - which is 100% true. But we’ve also found that phones are an easy distraction for people. They will be called or messaged, noises happen, vibrations in their pocket are distracting, and if you break for any reason, guarantee- the phone will be out and looked at.

When you’re trying to get through a shoot - any and all attention to the task at hand will see a more successful shoot.


Tip 4 - Briefings

We’re now moving closer to interviewing, so we need to start reassuring the interviewee…. and reminding them what we need.

Typically we’ll remind them that we don’t need massive answers, just concise ones that answer the question. We’ll remind them that there is a list of questions to get through - so don’t worry about trying ot fit everything into the first one. And that anything that doesn’t get covered we can talk abou at the end


Tip 5 - Reassurance

The last thing we give the interviewee is some reassurance. We assure them that it’s normal to feel a bit worried or nervous that this might be their first time, but we’ve done this before…. and that we’ll coach them through the interview to make sure we get what we need, but also make them look good - we only use the best bits.


The Final Bonus Tip!

At this point your camera should now be rolling, all checks complete.

Just before asking your first question - make sure you ask your interviewee to spell out their name(s) for you. It’ll really help you in editing so that you can put their name at the bottom of the screen. And this way you won’t have to go back and ask them for the correct spelling… or worse, put something out with an incorrect spelling.


That’s a Wrap

Shooting interviews can be a tricky process, but I help these simple steps and tips will keep you organised when you shoot yours - and that ultimately you end up with better interviews when you come around to editing them.

As with a lot of our tips - the more you practice, the better you’ll get - so start small, but get out there and start somewhere.

If you are still struggling then we offer a Testimonial Video Package as well as 1-on-1 learning with Bruce to help develop your skills. So get in touch if those are of use/interest.

Until next time,

Beard Out