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Getting a good interview for your next video production isn’t really that hard.  But it takes work, don’t think it doesn’t.

Getting great interviews is a skill that can be learned.

At Molly Media Studios, the most important thing when you’re interviewing someone is to know something about the subject you’re interviewing and what he/she is concerned about.  Know your subject matter inside and out, but also know beforehand what your interviewee’s take on the subject is going to be.

Know your subject matter; know your interviewee.

Tailor your questions so that your interviewee can be presented in the best possible light.  Don’t try to trip up your interviewee with your own intellect.  Remember, you’re there to get good audio and video, and your own intelligence will show through if you get the proper interview, not if you try to trip up your interviewee.

Spend some time with the camera rolling getting your subject at ease.  Ask them about themselves.  What interests them?  What are their concerns?  What about children — can they talk to you about them?  This always relaxes someone, when they can talk about things they know intimately about.  Then you can segue into the interview proper.

A video shoot, not Molly Media Studios, though.

Remember, relax them first, interview them second.

Another thing that’s important is that the subject has to feel good about the way they look.  Talk to them before the interview day.  Suggest some dark colours for the interview, but something they are comfortable in and something that they think makes them look good.  If they feel good about the way they look, they’ll give a better interview.

If they feel good, they’ll give good interview.

Keep the interview fluid.  Follow the conversation.  An interview shouldn’t be just a barrage of questions that you’ve planned out to ask on camera.  An interview should be a conversation, with those questions thrown in for good measure, but you want to find out about what the interviewee feels about the subject at hand, what their take is on the conversation at hand.

Get the conversation going.

Ask them what they think about the issues at hand.  People love to give their opinion and advice.  Even if you don’t use it in the final video, it will get your interviewee talking and talking, and giving up great information for you to use in the final piece, probably.

Get them talking.

And laugh.  If you can find a moment to laugh, then laugh.  It breaks the tension and keeps everyone grounded.  Besides, if everyone can have a laugh, then the whole process goes better for everyone involved.

The most important thing to think about, possibly, is what your interviewee is going through.  Under the lights.  With the microphone.  With all this camera equipment and sound equipment poked in their face.  Pretty intimidating, if you ask me.  So try to remember how hard it is for the interviewee, and try to keep them relaxed.

All the equipment can be quite intimidating for the interviewee.

If you can do that, then your interview should go off no problem.

If you have any other ideas for how to interview a subject, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.  I’d love to learn new tricks!

And if you want to see our portfolio of videos, lots of which have interviews in them, then click on the logo below.  It will take you to our website, and scroll down the home page to see the video player.