Structure a video interview

1. Determine the goal you want to achieve to structure the interview.

Ask yourself: Do you want to educate your audience on a difficult topic? Do you want to increase your reach by featuring an influencer?

2. Research the person you're interviewing by reading their past work including previous interviews, deep diving into their social media, and current projects.

Take notes if you can use something for the interview.

3. Research the topic you will be conducting the interview on.

Take note of areas that lack clarity, and questions that arise frequently.

4. Make a list of the 5-8 main talking points you want to discuss in the interview, and craft leading questions based on these.

Avoid questions that will lead to a yes or a no answer. For example, instead of Do you like cheese? frame it as What are the three things that make cheese special?

5. Organize these questions into a list starting with the simpler questions and moving on to more complex ones.

Add a warm up type of question first, to break the ice. For example, if you are interviewing a customer, you could ask them how they first came across your company, before moving on to questions about their experience with your product and how it relates to wider issues.

6. Send your interviewee a list of your talking points to prepare them in advance of the recording.

If you are recording remotely, share instructions for using your recording platform (for example Zoom) as well as tips for making their environment recording-friendly, like including lighting in front and an uncluttered background.

7. Prepare the filming environment by staging a scene that will be appealing to the viewer.

If you are recording remotely, use software such as Zoom. If recording on-site, create a setup with good lighting and multiple cameras to capture the person being interviewed and the interviewer separately and simultaneously. You can add plants and paintings to your background.

8. Record your interview and record several versions of each answer so that you have options when it comes to editing your roll.

Let the interviewee know that they’ll get a couple of opportunities to answer each question. This will also help them feel at ease by putting less pressure on them to get it right the first time.

9. Review your roll and note the timestamp of key moments from the interview.

10. Use the highlights and edit the footage with preferred video editing software, such as iMovie or Premiere Pro.