Interviewing guests on video is a skill that's becoming increasingly important in our digital age. Whether you're an influencer, a podcaster, a YouTuber, or any kind of content creator, chances are you’ll end up having a conversation with someone on video at some point, even if it’s just an Instagram Live. And nailing the art of interviewing can make a world of difference in how engaging and informative your content is. That’s why we put together a list of five tips for interviewing guests on video.
5 Tips for Interviewing Guests on Video
1. Prepare, but stay flexible
First things first, do your homework. Research your guest and the topic you'll be discussing. Gather all the necessary materials, questions, and any background information you might need. Being well-prepared not only makes you feel more confident but also allows you to have a smoother conversation.
However, don't become a slave to your research. While it's crucial to have a roadmap, it's equally important to be flexible. Sometimes the most interesting and insightful moments happen when you deviate from your script and allow the conversation to flow naturally. So, listen actively, and don't be afraid to explore unexpected avenues.
2. Set the stage (literally and figuratively)
Creating the right atmosphere can significantly impact your video interview. First, ensure you have a clutter-free, well-lit, and visually appealing background. No one wants to see a messy room or a glaringly bright window behind you. Keep it simple and professional.
Equally important is the figurative stage you set for the interview. Begin with a warm and friendly welcome to put your guest at ease. This will help build rapport and create a comfortable environment for sharing thoughts and ideas.
3. Maintain eye contact
In-person interviews allow for natural eye contact, but on video, this can be a bit tricky. Make an effort to look into the camera as much as possible. It creates the illusion of direct eye contact and makes your guest feel like they're having a conversation with you, not the camera.
Of course, don't fixate on the camera to the point of being unnatural. Feel free to glance at your guest occasionally, just as you would in a real conversation. Striking a balance between the camera and the guest's image on your screen is the key.
4. Listen actively and respond thoughtfully
This might be the golden rule of interviewing: listen actively. Don't just wait for your turn to speak. Pay attention to what your guest is saying and respond thoughtfully. This shows that you're engaged and genuinely interested in the conversation, making it more enjoyable for both you and your audience.
If you're too busy thinking about your next question or mentally rehearsing your response, you might miss an opportunity to dig deeper or explore a fascinating point your guest raised. So, be present, and let the conversation evolve naturally.
5. Embrace technology (and be ready for glitches)
In the world of video interviews, technology is your best friend and your worst enemy. Familiarize yourself with the platform you're using for the interview, whether it's Zoom, Skype, or another application. Test your equipment, including your camera, microphone, and internet connection, well in advance to avoid any last-minute hiccups.
However, even with all the preparation in the world, technical glitches can happen. Your guest might experience a lag in their video feed, or you might encounter audio issues. Don't panic. Stay calm, apologize for the inconvenience, and work together to resolve the problem.
In fact, these moments can be an opportunity to showcase your professionalism and adaptability. They humanize the interview and remind your audience that you're dealing with the same tech issues they face daily.
Are you interviewing guests on video?
If you’re posting interviews with guests on social media, remember than over 80% of online videos are watched on mute. That’s why you need Zubtitle! With Zubtitle, you can easily optimize all of your video content with automated captioning, eye-catching titles, full branding with custom colors/logos, and more. You can also use our AI tools to automatically generate video headlines, social media posts, video summaries, hashtags, and video timelines.
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