Tips for On-Camera Interviewees

After holding countless on-camera interviews over the years, we’ve seen firsthand the many struggles of those being interviewed.  Now we’re sharing what we’ve learned!  Hopefully this information will make you feel more comfortable and prepared for the next time you find yourself in front of the camera.

Tip #1 – Relax, Relax, Relax!

The thing we see most often is that people are nervous, and that does show on camera. Understandably, being interviewed on camera is a very nerve-wracking experience.  Lights are blinding, cameras are in your face, and there are several pairs of eyes directed toward you throughout the whole process.  It’s tough, but it’s important that you do your best to relax.  Wear comfortable clothes, take deep calming breaths, and try not to rush through your responses.  In most cases the interviewer will never be seen on camera, which means it’s only your responses that will be heard.  So take your time.  Don’t be afraid to ask for a moment to think through your response.  If you don’t like your reply, ask if you can try it again.  If your mouth is dry, ask for some water.

Remember that it’s the production company’s job to make a good video.  If you think you can give them something better to work with, they’ll be happy to give you another shot at your response.

Try not to be nervous

Nervous

Tip #2 – Make sure you’re prepared

One of the reasons people get nervous is because they are not as prepared as they think they should be.  Think about the topic you’re being interviewed about and come up with the most important points that you need to get across.  The more you prepare, the more confident you’ll be!  That being said, try not to memorize your responses or you’ll come off as stiff.  Which leads me to the next tip…

Always prepare before you take the leap

Prepare

Tip #3 – Be Yourself

The best interviews are ones where the interviewee sounds authentic.  Again, relaxing is key (see Tip #1).  Do your best to avoid that formal public speaking voice that many people are quick to jump to.  Sometimes it helps to imagine that you are speaking with a close friend or family member.  And remember that the reason you are being interviewed is because you’re the most qualified to talk about the subject matter.  You know what you’re talking about, so…RELAX!

Don’t try to be something you’re not

Yourself

Tip #4 – Watch Your Body Language

A lot of people are unsure of where they should be looking, how to sit or stand, and where their hands should be.  It’s okay to ask if you’re not certain.  Someone will generally tell you whether they want you looking into camera or at the interviewer.  If you’re looking into the camera it can be scarier, but try not to blink too much or dart your eyes around.  Again, it’s a little easier if you imagine that the camera is a close friend or family member.  If you’re sitting during the interview, make sure you’re comfortable.  Try not to slouch your shoulders, though, as the camera does pick up on bad posture.

Ask the camera operator if your arms or hands are in frame.  If they’re not, then it really doesn’t matter what you do with them so long as they’re not moving or waving around.  If they are in frame, the best place for your hands is together and resting either gently on your lap or on the table in front of you.  If you’re standing, clasp your hands and lower them in front of you.

Don’t pull a Ricky Bobby with your hands

RickyBobbyHands

Tip #5 – Incorporate the Question

This tip is important for on-camera interviews where the interviewer will not be seen or heard in the final video.  “Incorporate the question” does not mean repeat the question.  It means that you should phrase your response in such a way that the audience will understand what you’re referring to without hearing the question.

Maybe an example will help.  Let’s say the question is “How did you hear about the company?”  Instead of saying “I saw an ad in the paper,” your response could be, “I heard about the company when I saw an ad in the paper.”  Does that make sense?  Here’s one more example.  The question is “How long have you been working here?”  Instead of “7 years,” try “I’ve been working here for 7 years.”

NailedIt

Tip #6 – Don’t Be Afraid of Mistakes

It’s okay to make mistakes.  Everyone does it.  If you’d like to try your response a second, third or fourth time, just ask.  And remember, there are video editors to chop up your interview and make you sound clear and succinct!

Don’t worry if you make a mistake

Mistake

If you have any questions or additional tips, please let us know by commenting below!

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