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Preparing to be interviewed on Camera – Part Two of Three

Preparing to be interviewed on Camera – Part Two of Three

Video is a really powerful way to promote your business because it allows your customers to have a virtual meeting with you, to get a feel for who you are and build rapport through shared knowledge.  However, appearing on camera for most people isn’t the most natural thing to do, so here are tips for taking part in a Down the Line Interview and One Plus One Interview.


Down the Line Interviews:

These are where the interviewer is perhaps not even in the same room or building as you, and all you can hear is their voice through an earpiece or small speaker.

Down the Line interviews are mostly done for live streaming or television, however, there are occasions when corporate communications require this style, particularly if a key speaker is in another country perhaps and the budget means the interview needs to be done remotely.  Also with the increasing popularity of live streaming, down the line interviews could well become more common for corporate training and commentating.


All of the statement interview tips we shared in Part One of this blog series apply to this style as well, however here you are purely relying on listening to the question and it’s therefore vital that you keep a neutral face and body language when listening, in case the editor needs to cut to you in vision before you answer.  If something is unclear in the question try not to show unease in your, keep neutral and positive features;  if you need to clarify a question then do so before responding.

If you are being recorded in a studio, the Director will check the background for you;  however, if you are being recorded over SKYPE for instance in your own home, make sure the background is neutral with no embarrassing photos or sensitive information showing.  It’s also a good idea to make sure your family know that you are recording so that they don’t unexpectedly walk in during your interview to offer you a cup of tea at a crucial part of your interview.


Always arrive early for the set time of interview, get yourself a glass of water nearby in case you get a dry mouth, and do check yourself over in the mirror beforehand to make sure you look comfortable.  


One Plus One Interviews:

Here we are looking at the true interview style where both the interviewer and the responder are in the same room and at some point seen on camera.  This style is different because it needs to be more fluid than the off-camera interviewer version, which means it’s really important to prepare in advance. 

Do remember that this type of video, no matter the style, is promotional or communication;  no one is trying to catch you out or make you look foolish, the whole purpose is to put you in a positive light. Although it's not necessary to have precise details of the questions in advance, it's quite normal to ask for an idea of the topics to be discussed;  do be ready for supplemental questions as well though because depending on your responses the interviewer may feel it necessary to explore some responses further.

For the purposes of most corporate video communications, this is still a recorded interview, so you don’t have to worry about needing time to start answering a question, any pauses can easily be cut out in the edit however do make sure you are looking at the interview when you are ready to respond.


Assuming it’s not inappropriate, do try to smile as this generally makes your whole demander lighter and more engaging to the viewer.  It’s a good idea to practice smiling at yourself in a mirror;  it will feel a bit odd and you’ll be quite self-conscious initially, but it’s really useful to get the facial muscles working so that you know how it feels and looks when you are smiling on camera. 


For this type of interview, you may well be asked to do something called Noddies. These are cutaway shots where you are just nodding or visually responding to the interviewer and which can be used to cover edits in post-production. 


Group or Panel Interviews:

The other format is where you are being interviewed in a group or as part of a panel, and these are usually recorded with more than one camera.  The important tip here is to always pay attention to whoever is speaking at that time as one of the cameras may be shooting cutaway shots of you without your knowledge, so try to look interested in the speaker, do not look away, yawn or look down as this will tend to look as if you are falling asleep.  Politicians are particularly advised to be wary of this!   Also, remember that you are wired for sound all the time the cameras are rolling, so what may seem like an innocent whisper to a colleague could well be inadvertently heard and cause embarrassment.  Seriously, it doesn't happen often, but it does happen, so just be careful.


There is usually a Moderator for group discussions, pay attention to them as they hold the timing and structure together.  If you want to contribute look at them and they will pick up on your visual signals, and probably give an audio cue which also helps the Director or Camera Operator know who is speaking next.  Avoid talking over other contributors, it really annoys the audience and makes the message more difficult to understand.  Tolerance and patience are key in panel interviews, above all avoid getting on a soapbox and be sensitive to other contributors.


In the final part of our Being Interview on Camera series, we will be looking at some of the common questions that we get asked by clients. If you haven't read part one here is the link. 

And if you need any assistance with regard to video marketing for your business, or would like to discuss recording your seminars or conference do get in touch.







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