Avoid These Seven Classic On-Camera Interview Mistakes

As an interviewer, your job encompasses more than just asking questions. To get a great video, you have to always be thinking ahead to the final product.

Here are seven classic on-camera mistakes interviewers and video producer make when they’re just starting out. We have all made these mistakes, but you can get a jump on your video production career by avoiding these mistakes now.

1. Not Slating the Video Clip at the Beginning of the Interview

Even if you’re interviewing your brother, have him identify himself on camera. You have no idea who will be looking at this clip tomorrow or 10 years from now.

2. Not Taking Notes to Create a Shot List


If you want effective B-roll to tell your story, then listen to what they’re saying during the interview to know what to shoot after the interview. Don’t wait until you get back at the office when you look at the interview. It’ll be too late. You have your camera crew with you now.

3. Not Knowing Your Equipment

Nothing screams “This is not going to turn out well” than an interviewer fumbling with their equipment. Know how to set up and turn on your equipment quickly.

4. Not Going Deep Enough

Interviewees sometimes like to be coy in interviews and give short, nondescriptive answers. They may think it’s clever, but it makes for horrible video. Keep asking “Why?” and compel them to explain.

5. Sending Questions Beforehand

This is disastrous. Too much preparation means you won’t see any emotion on camera. Why bother with video if your interview subject is rehearsed? Just write an article and be done with it.

6. Forgetting to Let the Interviewee Set Up the Soundbite

Answers often make no sense without the question. Don’t get stuck in the editing room with a contextless clip. Let the interviewee setup their own soundbite. For example, if you were to ask, “What’s your favorite color,” don’t let the interviewee just say, “Green.” Encourage them instead to say “My favorite color is green.”

7. Leaning on Your List of Questions Rather Than Actively Listening

This happens when the people wanting to make the video don’t put too much stock in the value of the interviewer. Anybody can read a list of questions, right? That’s actually what you’re not supposed to do. Ignore the list. Listen to the answers and dig deeper.

Watch the episode of Content Marketing Tips, and I’ll reveal the best technique to drive deeper into an interview.

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