Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Shooting Video Interviews: What Questions Should You Ask?

Video-Interview-QuestionsSo you’ve become acquainted with your interviewee and you are doing what you can to make him or her comfortable. Now it’s your turn…what are you going to ask them?

This is where it is really important to be prepared. You need to write down the questions you want to ask in advance. The better the question, the better the interview. This is an area where you want to be in control and be professional. If you are winging it, it will show in the quality of the interview.

My advice is that while you might want to give the interviewee an idea of what you’ll be asking, don’t give them the exact questions. Some inexperienced interviewees will try to memorize their answers, which will then sound canned. Let them be spontaneous.

During the interview you’ll want to keep this list of interview questions handy so that you can make sure you cover everything you need to cover. If they or you are nervous, it’s easy to lose focus. They may be thinking ahead to what they want to say and miss a key point. The same can happen to you, you may miss asking them something important.

If you find they are stumbling, it’s okay to have them start over unless this is a live interview. It’s in their best interests to deliver their “lines” well and they’ll thank you for it when they see how good you made them look on camera, even if they seem a bit impatient at the time.

The ideal question is one that requires the interviewee to repeat the question or at least give a complete answer not requiring the question to be included. Sometimes “how about XXX” is enough. The interviewee then will have to explain in his own words what you are talking about. “What do you think about global climate change?” would elicit a better answer than “Do you think global climate change is a conspiracy?” You want to avoid questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no.”

Asking questions that start with what, how, who, when, where and why are good conversation starters. These types of questions elicit detailed answers.

Next we’ll cover what and where you want them to sit…yes, that IS important.

Action Steps

  • Think about what you want to get out of the interview and come up with several good questions.
  • If you want to give the interviewee a heads up on what you’ll be asking, don’t give them the exact questions you’ve prepared.
  • Don’t ask questions that can be answered with a “Yes” or “No.”
  • Write these questions down, print them out and have them with you.
  • If they stumble and you can do so, have them start over with a new take.


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