How to Prepare for a Video Marketing Interview

If you have a video marketing strategy, or any kind of content marketing strategy, you should consider conducting interviews as part of your content campaign. Interviews are valuable for a number of reasons. They give you an opportunity to talk to a notable influencer or prominent person in your industry, increasing your reach. They help you show off your own expertise and conversational skills. They’re also relatively inexpensive to put together.

Still, if you want to get the best possible results from your video marketing interviews, you need to prepare properly.

Preparing Yourself

Start by preparing yourself.

  •       Plan your attire. In professional video production, it’s important to dress your best. In most applications, that means dressing in line with business casual or business formal attire. All your clothes should fit you perfectly, they should be clean and free of debris, and they should complement your personal image.
  •       Research your guest. Do plenty of research on your guest. Make sure you understand who they are, what their background is, and what they currently do for a living. It’s also a good idea to listen to other interviews they’ve done in the past or read some of the content they’ve written, so you can ask them some original questions and remain relevant to them. Additionally, find out if there is any specific motivation for their attending this interview; for example, are they trying to promote some new work?
  •       Prepare your questions. At this point, you’ll be ready to prepare some questions. Open-ended questions tend to be best, giving your guest many opportunities to express their thoughts comprehensively. You’ll also want to ask original questions that your guest hasn’t answered a million times already – and throw some lightly controversial questions into the mix.
  •       Rehearse (a bit). Spend time rehearsing what you want to say and how you want to say it. It’s going to help you clarify your intentions and make you more confident and authoritative in the interview. However, it’s important not to over-rehearse as well, since rehearsing too much can make you sound cold and robotic.

Preparing Your Guest

You’ll also need to prepare your interviewee – your guest.

  •       Set expectations. Set proactive expectations with your guest before they arrive. Let them know how long the interview is going to last, what kinds of questions you’re going to ask, and anything that might be expected of them. This is also a good time to ask for questions to see if your guest is confused about anything.
  •       Establish a timeline. Establish a video production timeline and share it with your guest. What time are they supposed to arrive? What time will you begin filming? How long will the interview last? And is there anything after filming that requires their attention?
  •       Review special requests. Ask your guest if they have any special requests for the interview. For example, do they want any specific environmental changes? Are there certain questions they would prefer you not to ask?

Gear, Tech, and the Environment

Finally, make sure all your gear and your environment are ready for the interview.

  •       Splurge on professional video production. Your interview is going to look much better if you’re willing to invest in professional video production. That could mean hiring a video production company, or simply investing in your own gear.
  •       Get the right camera (and a backup). Make sure your camera is fully charged and ready to start filming. Consider doing a test the night before just to be sure. It’s also not a bad idea to have at least one backup camera at the ready, in case your main camera fails during the interview or in case you want to film the interview from multiple angles simultaneously.
  •       Set up sufficient lighting (and secondary options). You should be familiar with the basics of video lighting already. Spend some time doing some lighting tests in your environment so you know how the light is going to respond. You can make last-minute adjustments the day of the interview, but it’s a good idea to have some strong fundamentals in place.
  •       Tweak the background. Finally, spend time tweaking the background. Can you make the background more neutral with a backdrop, making sure viewers pay close attention to the people talking to each other? Would the interview benefit from having a more dynamic background, like a bookshelf full of interesting books?

At this point, you’ll be ready to begin filming. There are still issues that can arise during the filming process and during the editing process, but you will have all the materials in place that you need to resolve those potential issues. The more experience you gain preparing for video interviews and conducting them, the easier it’s going to be and the fewer issues you’ll face.