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How to Prepare for the Perfect Video Interview.

10th July 2023

Video interviews are a powerful tool for showcasing a company’s story, values, and mission. They are an essential part of humanising your brand. But being interviewed on camera can be be absolutely horrid. Let’s take a look at 10 ways to help you nail your next video interview.

How Do I Prepare For My Video Interview?

As a video production company, we know that interviews are a powerful tool for showcasing a brand’s story, values, and mission. However, not all video interviews are created equal. When it comes to video interviews about a company, there are specific techniques that can help the interviewee stand out and make a lasting impression. In this guide, we will explore seven advanced video interview techniques for people being interviewed about their own company.

a professional video production company prepares for a video interview in a modern office

How to nail your video interview.

1. Include the questions in your answers.

One technique that can help you to stay on track in your video interview and provide more complete answers is to include the question in your response. This technique can help ensure that you are addressing the specific question asked and can also help you avoid going off-topic.

For example, if your interviewer asks, “What inspired you to start your company?” a good response might be, “I was inspired to start my company by…”

2. Practice, practice, practice.

Practice is key to a successful video interview. You should practice answering questions about your company until you feel comfortable and confident. This can help you avoid stumbling over your words or forgetting important details during your video interview. It can be a good idea to practice in front of a mirror or with a friend to get feedback on body language and tone of voice.

Use networking events to test your company’s new tagline and mission statement. Do people you’re talking to stick around to find out more? This will help build your confidence but you’ll also start getting a good idea of what is working to engage your target market in an efficient and captivating way.

3. “Problem – Solution – Differentiator”.

The “Problem – Solution – Differentiator” framework is a practical, powerful tool for structuring video interview responses. This framework involves identifying a problem, explaining how you are solving that problem, and highlighting what makes your solution unique.

For example, you might say, “One of the biggest problems facing our industry is X. Our company solves this problem by Y, and what makes us uniquely effective at this is Z.”

4. Interview scripts.

There are many types of script useful for filmed interviews. You can, of course, script every line of an interview in order to tightly control your brand messaging, core values or to deliver complex industry-specific information.

However, you may find this approach leads to answers being a little flat on camera.

This is where an interview script comes in. This type of script includes key messaging, target soundbites and leading questions specifically phrased to elicit zinger one-liners and on-brand messaging. Interview scripts are used for a wide range of interview-based content including client testimonial recordings, and video case studies. To learn more about interview scripts and other types of script useful for creating video content click here.

a teleprompter being used in a studio video interview by a professional video production company

Most professional video production companies will have access to teleprompting technology which allows you to read prepared, scripted sections whilst maintaining eye contact with the interviewer or the camera. Teleprompters are made up of a screen on which a script is shown which is then reflected through special glass and mirrors in such a way that allows the camera to see through the reflected words. The script can be scrolled forward (or back) in time with the interviewee and allows them to read long sections of text whilst never breaking eye contact and maintaining the illusion that they are reciting the script from memory – or, indeed, that there was never a script at all!

5. Take a stand with a controversial viewpoint.

Taking a stand with a controversial viewpoint can help you stand out and make a lasting impression. However, it’s important to be careful when taking this approach, as it can also backfire if the viewpoint is too extreme or offensive.

When filming an interview, brands should should collaborate and workshop potential viewpoints that are relevant to their industry and that they can back up with evidence.

a professional video production company films an interview with multiple cameras

6. Body Language.

We can’t control how we feel. But we can control how we behave. Decades of scientific research tells us that we can influence our thoughts and our feelings by physically changing what our body is doing. It’s pure “fake it until you are it”.

Take control of your body’s subconscious signposting.

  • Sit at the front of your chair.
  • Lean forward.
  • If standing, keep your feet shoulder width apart and rock forward onto your toes.
  • Bring your shoulders back, opening your chest.

Science shows that putting yourself near the edge of your balance engages circuitry in your brain that controls focus and increases speed of thought and efficiency of communication – all very helpful when you’re trying to communicate effectively under pressure.

Hands are notoriously tricky things to control and – despite most of us managing just fine with them every day of our lives – they can suddenly take on an unruly life of their own as soon as you are on stage or in front of a camera.

If you find your hands taking you for a ride during a video interview, try some hand positions recommended by former FBI Spy Recruiter and master of body language Joe Navarro’s book “What Every Body is Saying”:

  • ‘Karate chop’ – used for outlining points and instilling trust.
  • ‘Thumb of Power’ – Resting your thumb in the crook of your index finger. Great for making authoritative points.
  • ‘Pinch of Salt’ – Imagine adding a pinch of salt to your food. Perfect for finessed, detailed points.

7.”Prove Me Wrong” Role Play

Instead of asking questions, at Bobbin Productions, we use this simple role play framework to elicit great zinger one-liners during video interviews. First we say to you, our interviewee… “I’m about to say something and I just want you to respond”. Then we hit you with an aggressively provocative statement about your brand’s culture, service, team or core belief: “the company culture you bang on about is a ping-pong table and a free beer tap… Prove. Me. Wrong.”.

The first sentence out of your mouth is likely an incoherent babble whilst you gather your thoughts. Maybe you manage a little put-down. “You’re wrong”. “That’s just not true”.

The second sentence is often solid gold. But the magic doesn’t stop there.

Suddenly, you are:

  • Fired up.
  • Impassioned.
  • Leaning forward.
  • Vocally powered.

You’re suddenly not focusing solely on reason-based argument (logos). You begin instinctively appealing to the heart (pathos) and evoking an impassioned pitch of your company’s credentials and right to lead (ethos).

You’re remembering why you joined (or started) your company and what has kept you fighting your fight.

Your mind engages “fight” mode that starts shortening your sentences and reducing them to their most essential parts.

But most of all… you are speaking like a human.

You’ve put the script down. You’ve put aside the rehearsed corporate mantras. You are speaking from the heart.

And all of a sudden, your audience is *really* listening.

8. Keep it simple.

Simple, strong language cuts through the noise.

Write out some key messaging you’d like to feature in your interview. Now shorten it by 50%. Then again by 25%. Keep going until you have cut your message down to its absolute core.

Unless you’re producing a technical training video, avoid technical language or jargon.

As an exercise, is the “8 or 80” rule: imagine you’re speaking to an 8 or 80 year old. How might you rephrase your messaging to make it as understandable as possible?

a professional video production company films a video interview with a school headmaster in a library

9. Antithesis.

Use counterpointed language that uses juxtaposition to both surprise and instantly create story.

For example:

  • What you thought would work >> what action you actually took.
  • Where you came from >> where you’re going to.
  • How difficult a process was >> how valuable that experience was.

10. Inflection.

Humans are hardwired to spot patterns and are alerted when a pattern is broken. For millions of years this anomaly detection has kept us alive by allowing us to spot both predators and prey in the undergrowth.

Break the Pattern >> Human Pays Attention.

This applies not only to sight but also sound. Arresting sentences have at least two distinct chapters within them. Experiment with splitting each of your sentences into two halves and delivering each of them in a totally different tone of voice. When practising, go big! Exaggerate your shift pitch, pace, volume, rhythm and facial expression as much as possible. Then, bring it back down again for the interview.

By using these advanced video interview techniques, you can stand out and make a lasting impression. With these techniques in mind, you can make the most of your video interview content and showcase your company in the best possible light.

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