Being able to interview someone really well on video is a skill. It’s an art. But it’s something that can be learnt and practised. It’s something worth learning. Because it will have a big impact on the quality of the content you produce.
The most important first step is to build a connection with the person you’re interviewing. Find some common ground. This’ll help put your interviewee at ease. And actually enable them to trust you enough to be authentic, and even a bit vulnerable. Which is when the most interesting things happen.
Listen. I mean, really listen. Tune out everything else. Don’t think about what you’re going to say next. I’m sure you’ve been in that situation where someone asks you something. And then, when you’re answering, it’s obvious they’ve tuned out. It makes you shut down. And not really want to share your story. Because it’s obvious they don’t really care. But when the person you’re interviewing can really feel that you’re listening, that’s when the good stuff starts to come out. That’s when they start to drop their mask and get real. This is the stuff audiences want to see.
Write a list of questions…but leave them in your pocket. A good interview feels like a conversation. Not an interrogation. Then, if your interviewee says something interesting, ask them about that. Go deeper. Even if it’s not on your list of questions.
And basically, be curious. And explore that. So much of the time we’re trapped in our own ego. When you’re able to step outside of that, and actually experience the world as your interviewee does, its actually amazing what can happen.
So, to summarise:
– Build a connection
– Listen (really listen)
– Leave your list of questions in your pocket
– And step outside of yourself
By following this approach, you’ll not only capture some great interview content, you’ll probably end up having one of the best chats you’ve had for ages.
If you’re interested in interviewing, there’s a lot of resources on this website. Just type in interview in the search tab.
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2002, and specialises in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience more effectively by using video.