Interview videos are a great way for businesses to bring awareness to their brands—and show off their expertise—in a personal and engaging way. Plus, they're relatively easy and inexpensive to produce.
Despite being one of the more straightforward types of content to create, it’s easy to miss the mark and release an interview video that could harm the credibility and overall image of your brand. Say the wrong thing, come across as inauthentic, or lack production value, and you could make a terrible impression on consumers.
This guide explains how to produce interview videos that people will engage with and act on.
Interview Videos: The Basics
Interview videos are everywhere: on the news, on social media, in documentaries, and on talk shows. They are also a popular form of marketing. These videos usually feature one person or a group answering questions from an interviewer or panel, typically on a single topic.
Interview videos are close and personal. The interviewee could be a subject matter expert or thought leader. Authentic, unscripted interviews are a great form of storytelling that can make any subject or concept come to life.
The Value of Interview Videos
Videos are popular, especially among younger consumers and people who prefer watching or listening to reading. And interview videos are among the highest viewed on YouTube and across social media.
Interviews are the most personal way to deliver and receive information. They offer a unique, unscripted take (or shared knowledge) from a real person. It’s why journalists, communicators, and marketers rely on them so heavily.
Here are some of the ways interviews provide value.
Interviews allow for great storytelling. Would you rather find out about fashion from a reporter or from Anna Wintour or Ralph Lauren? The small details and anecdotes from someone who lives in the fashion world bring concepts to life, making them more real.
Interviews can provide a behind-the-scenes look. They give access to people and insights that may be otherwise inaccessible. They offer an inside look through the eyes of thought leaders, CEOs, and other notable individuals.
Producing interview videos is relatively easy and inexpensive. The standard one or two-angle set-up makes shooting fast and editing easy. These days, you can shoot a decent interview video with a smartphone. However, it’s better to use a camera, tripod, proper lighting, and a microphone, which can all be purchased affordably online.
Interview content can be repurposed. Interviews add authenticity and personality to other types of videos and content. Break interviews into short clips for use on social media. Extract audio for a podcast or sound snippets. Insert quotes into case studies. Add video clips to written blog content to breathe life into it.
If these benefits of interview videos seem attractive to you, it could be time to pull out your smartphone or camera and start filming!
When to Use Interview Videos
Interview videos can be used throughout your sales, marketing, and customer service cycle.
They typically work best on the following channels to boost brand awareness, explain concepts, attract leads, and more.
Interview videos can be used in many ways on your website, including:
Testimonials: People prefer to buy goods and services recommended by individuals similar to them.
Landing pages: Nothing is better than having a product developer or thought leader explain the value of a product or service to buyers.
About page: Who better than a company founder to explain an organization and its history, beliefs, mission, and vision to prospective buyers?
Many people access their emails via smartphone, making videos a perfect option. In many cases, it’s easier to view a video on a phone than read content.
Video content is popular on all platforms today, especially TikTok and Instagram. Leverage shortcuts of your videos on social media to drive awareness of your business with prospective customers and stay connected with current ones.
Types of Interview Videos
Interview videos take many forms. Here are some popular ones:
A talking head interview frames a speaker from the chest up. It puts complete focus on them and what they have to say. The interviewer is off-camera, asking questions while the speaker tends to look at and speak directly to the camera.
Choose a talking head interview if you want to communicate something simple and have it come across as trustworthy and authoritative. It could take the form of facts from an expert or an account of an event or experience.
These interviews can take the form of a talk show or an on-location experience. They feature the host on camera. The back-and-forth conversation gives these interviews a warm and authentic feel.
Choose a conversational interview if you want it to feel casual and relatable.
Everyone in the era of Zoom calls and Google Meets is familiar with remote interviews. It makes it possible to interview someone long distance and record it.
If it’s impossible to get the interviewer and subject in the same place, a remote interview could be the best—or only—option for you.
How to Produce an Interview Video
Follow these steps to create a quality and compelling video.
Determine the Video’s Purpose
Figure out if you want to explain a topic, build brand awareness, improve your position in your industry, or demonstrate expertise to prospective clients. Understanding your purpose will help you get everything else right.
Choose the Right Interview Subject
Select someone who supports the purpose of your video. For instance, if it’s to educate people, choose a subject matter expert to explain the topic. To share a client success story, choose someone intimately involved in the relationship. If you’re explaining some aspect of your organization, leverage a company leader.
No matter who you choose, make sure they are well-spoken, confident, and engaging on camera.
Provide the interviewer with the information necessary for an intelligent and informative interview. See if you can come up with some novel information that will help your video breakthrough others about similar topics.
Interviews can take unexpected turns, so prepare questions in advance. These can help guide your discussion, ensure you don’t forget anything, and prevent things from going off the rails. Avoid questions that could result in a yes or no answer. Prepare warm-up questions to break the ice. Make sure everything you ask is relevant. You don’t want to ask about things that could make the subject uncomfortable. Prepare follow-up questions in case an answer is incomplete. Finally, come up with a question about the subject’s final thoughts. It will provide an opportunity to capture any ideas that may have been missed.
Once you have a list of questions, order them in a cohesive flow. You will be able to edit your interview after it’s filmed, but having your story laid out cohesively will make the process easier and more effective.
Choose the Right Location
The location and what appears in the background will affect the perception of your video. Identify a place that supports the key purpose of it. For instance, if it’s about a medical advancement, interviewing in a lab or doctor’s office could make it seem more authentic and less staged. Include branded design elements where appropriate so viewers are reminded of your company.
Light the Interviewee Well
Poor lighting can make an interview subject seem shady or dishonest. At the very least, they may not seem attractive. Either leverage bright natural light or use a professional lighting system. Many types are available online for a reasonable cost.
Test the Sound
Whether you use a smartphone or microphone to record sound, test it out. Ensure everything is clear and the interviewer or subject isn’t drowned out by background noise or that you’re not hearing clothes rustling or anything that could make hearing the subject challenging. Nothing ruins a video quite like poor audio, so make it sound crisp.
Take Care in Editing
Use a video editing app to piece together the best parts of the interview and create a smooth flow from question to question. Leave anything unnecessary on the cutting room floor. Ancillary content could confuse people in your audience and cause them to tune out.
Add music, visuals, on-screen text, and other features to help enhance your video. Transitions to other camera angles or white flashes can help create cohesion between lines of dialogue or trains of thought without awkward, unnatural-looking cuts.
Interview Videos: Best Practices
Here are some other tips to make your interview more engaging.
Avoid Rehearsed Answers
To get the best on-camera performance, keep the interviewee from sticking to a script. One way to do this is to withhold the questions from the subject. Send them an overview of what will be covered beforehand, but hold on to the exact questions until the day of. If your guest’s answers sound robotic or rehearsed, try rephrasing the question to help them deliver the same answer more naturally.
Allow Time to Warm Up
Warming up the interview subject is critical. Make them feel comfortable with a bit of small talk. The interviewee will be more relaxed on camera, and answers will be smoother and more natural. Also, have beverages and snacks available so the subject doesn’t experience discomfort due to hunger or thirst.
B-roll is footage from outside of the interview. It can add visual interest, illustrate the subject matter, provide context, and help smooth transitions. B-roll can include product shots, animations, charts and graphs, and even text on the screen.
Avoid Run-On Sentences
Long or interconnected answers make it more challenging to edit footage. Look out for these things during an interview and do a retake if they happen.
Interview Videos: The Final Word
Interview videos are a great way to personalize content, bring concepts to life, demonstrate expertise, and more. And even though they’re relatively easy to produce, you want them to appear professional and authentic. Use the information in this guide to create interview content that engages audiences and drives business results.
Want to learn more about video marketing? Check out our informative three-part series.