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September 25, 2012

by Earl Chessher, VideoMaker

10 Tips for Great Interviews

There are many interview approaches and styles: Are you looking for a hardcore journalistic approach or something less intense? Will you casually guide interviewees or follow a defined path? Video interview techniques will vary depending on project intent and focus and interviewee personalities.

Whatever your intent, it’s important to pay attention to the basics before moving on to interview sessions. Interview techniques are as diverse as the questions you ask your interviewees.

Don’t become so involved during prep and set up with the technical aspects that you overlook the needs of your interviewees. It’s possible to have the perfect setup yet wind up with a bust. These interview techniques and tips will help you avoid that.

1. Plan Your Interview Approach

Interview techniques and decisions you should consider:

  • Using one camera or two?
  • Shooting a one person production or with a crew?
  • Interviewing free style with open-ended questions?
  • Recording the question-and-response or response only?
  • Capturing single or multiple takes for each question/response?
  • Using an interview style of a person on the street, in a formal studio setting, or a casual/business home or office location?
  • Making your interview style provocative, to get the real story or casual and informative?
  • Shooting one-on-one with a single interviewee or several simultaneously?

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Contributing editor Earl Chessher is a veteran career journalist, independent video producer and author of video marketing and production books.