Take One logo


Interviewing someone for video

Interviewing someone for video

In this blog, we are going to be discussing some of the different things that you need to consider before you interview someone for video. There is a lot more to interviewing someone for video than just asking questions; things that you need to consider and to prepare for.

As we have mentioned in a previous blog, there are different types of interviews, so naturally, there will be different points and techniques to incorporate, depending on which style of interview you are going for.

Off camera

This is called an Off  Camera interview because the interviewee is looking off camera at the person asking the question, rather than directly down the lens.  The interviewer is usually cut from the final programme.

First off, you need to make sure that you’re standing close enough to the camera to make the interviewees eye line right. The interviewee should be facing just a little bit off the screen, but not so much that the camera only sees the side of their face. But be careful not to get in the way of the shot when stepping closer to the camera. Don’t forget that the camera lens goes downwards as well as sideways, so if you are holding papers or a clipboard avoid waving them around as they may get caught on the end of the lens image and it may not become obvious until you start to edit the material.

Secondly, you need to speak loud and clear so everyone can hear you. This not only helps the interviewee but it also helps with the editing process. If you are speaking too quietly no one on set will be able to hear you, and the microphone won’t be able to pick up what you’re saying; this will make it very difficult for the editor because once the content has been rough cut, they won’t always know which answer the interviewee is replying to.   

Make sure you ask all the questions, as you only get one shot:

Remember that you may be the main person responsible for making sure the interview goes well if it’s a small crew and there is no director present that it will most likely just be you listening to the answers that the interviewee gives as the rest of the crew will be concentrating on other things. So you need to make sure that all the key points are covered in the responses.  To do this you may have to ask the same question a few times and if that’s the case then try to re-phrase the question so as not to put too much pressure on the interviewee.  If you ask exactly the same question, the interviewee will start to feel as if they have to answer in exactly the same way and then potentially struggle because they are trying to remember the words rather than the overall message.

You’ll also have to make sure that the interviewee’s answers make sense on their own, as your questions will most likely be cut out of the final programme, hence the off camera name of this style of interview.  So if you think that their answer won’t make sense to someone who hasn’t heard the question, get them to repeat their answer in a statement format that incorporates or paraphrases the question.

On camera or one plus one interview  

Having said all this, if you are going to be onscreen with the person you are interviewing this will bring up a new set of challenges.  In addition to making sure that you speak loudly and clearly enough, making sure you ask all of the questions and listening to ensure that the interviewees answers make sense you need to think about a few others things as well.

You must make sure that you always look interested in what the person you’re interviewing is saying; you can do this by being mindful of your body language. Make sure that you are sat up straight (if sitting) and make sure that you are looking at the interviewee then they are talking, you can also nod your head at things that they are saying, just like you would in a normal conversation.

 This may sound obvious but when you aren’t the one talking to the camera it can be tempting to look around the room, or to fiddle with a pen, for example, to check what the next question was supposed to be!   

In addition to this, you need to be conscious of what you wear. This applies to everyone who appears on camera and in the mean we would recommend that you dress smart and wear something fairly plain. It’s good to avoid clothing with stripes (Because thin stripes or fine patterns can cause a ‘zebra’ effect on camera, this is where the image jumps up and down as it tries to sit between the lines of the picture.  Also, avoid branded clothing unless it’s your companies branding as you may then have to spend time in post-production hiding the logo of a competitor or well know the brand that you aren’t allowed to show without their permission.  And if you’re filming on a green screen, avoid wearing green as this may result in your body ‘disappearing’ in the video. 


In conclusion, there is a lot that you need to consider before you interview someone on camera, so always make sure that you have the questions ready before you do the interview and where possible, practice a bit beforehand. If you have any questions with regards to video content, please feel free to contact us.

Call: +44 (0) 1494 89 89 19 




Archive by Date