What to Expect & How to Prepare
On-camera interviews are not part of everyday life for most folks. However, you are in goods hands. We have years of experience coaching people through this process and helping them craft bite-size answers that play well in a video edit.
Follow the tips below, and you will be one step ahead when the cameras roll. We will also go over these again before we start recording.
Keep eye contact with the interviewer. Avoid looking at the cameras. This creates a more conversational interview and avoids breaking the 4th wall.
ANSWER IN COMPLETE SENTENCES
In most cases, the video will not include the question, so you will want to rephrase the question in your answer. Use complete sentences so your statement stands on its own. For example:
QUESTION: What did you have for dinner last night?
BAD ANSWER: A cheeseburger.
GOOD ANSWER: Last night, I had a cheeseburger for dinner.
SHORTER IS BETTER
Brevity is your friend. 2-3 sentences per answer is a good goal. Don't worry too much about this before the interview. Oftentimes, we get the best answers by having people answer the question naturally, then asking them, "Now, can you try that in just a couple of sentences?"
EXPECT SOME BIG DUMB QUESTIONS (BDQ's)
When we are crafting soundbites during the edit, it is helpful to have some broad brush responses. We call these "Big Dumb Questions" or BDQ's. They make for great intro statements and transitional moments, so don't be surprised if we ask you the most obvious question on earth. Examples:
Is starting a company difficult?
Can raising a child be challenging?
Is it important to be proactive about your health?
For crucial points, we will ask you to repeat answers. Folks often need to say something once just to get their thoughts out, and then they can answer the second time with more confidence. Sometimes, we just want another option for when we get in the edit. And other times, we need a shorter answer.
AVOID "I THINK" OR "I BELIEVE" STATEMENTS:
Speak definitively. For example:
BAD ANSWER: "I think we have a great team here at ACME Brick Company"
GOOD ANSWER: "We have a great team here at ACME Brick Company"
MESSING UP IS OK!
There’s no pressure for a perfect delivery. We use multiple cameras, so that we can seamlessly chop up your interview, even splicing sentences mid-statement.
IF YOU DO MESS UP...
Take a moment. Take a breath. Then calmly start again. Don't laugh through the beginning of your second take, or start loudly as if you're correcting yourself. That helps us make clean cuts between statements.
WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?
Use them! Talking with your hands always plays well on camera.
Avoid small or fine patterns. Solid colors play best on camera, except for white. A white shirt under a suit is fine, but avoid wearing just a solid white shirt.
Bring and apply powder before the interview. Or splash water on your face and wipe dry with a clean towel. We will have powder for you as well, if needed.
In most cases, we try to hide the lav mic under your shirt or jacket. This usually involves taping it to the inside collar of your shirt or inside lapel of your jacket, and pulling the wire out the bottom. We will approach this close encounter with the utmost professionalism. For underage participants, we ask that a parent assist in this process.
If possible, try to make your space a cold as possible before we arrive for setup. Then we can kill the AC during the interview to capture the best audio quality. If we can't turn off the AC, no worries. We can work around it.
Help us select an interview space where there won't be too much ambient noise (traffic, coworkers, noisy machines, etc.). Let those in the surrounding rooms know that we will need relative silence during the interview. Again, if this isn't possible, no worries. We can work around ambient noise as well.