Interviews and testimonials have changed a lot under the influence of social media and new habits developed in the course of the worldwide lockdown. Audience expectations have changed and businesses are adapting to communicate effectively with their customers and employees.
The search for authenticity
Beyond being easy to produce, interviews and video testimonials are dynamic and bring a human touch, and therefore authenticity – which is exactly what audiences are looking for. Hence the interest of comms and marketing people seeking to establish a relationship of trust with their target (their primary objective in this period of crisis according to a Cision study).
Towards more simplicity
You don’t need large film crews to make quality videos anymore! Driven by new media and influencers and the progress of smartphone cameras, expectations have evolved: a recent smartphone is now enough to create an engaging, more informal rendering while remaining professional. Even the major media and television news outlets are getting used to video interviews conducted on smartphones.
A vector of conversation
In today’s context of remote working and lockdown, the video interview has become an established feature on all platforms. The audience is often invited to ask questions to the interviewee, either live or before the interview. The video interview lends itself naturally to conversations. And thanks to Instagram stories, we are accustomed to being the confidants of celebrities who deliver their confessions and advice without restraint in selfie mode.
Match your interview style to your objectives
Even if the most obvious and easiest video interview format to carry out with a smartphone remains the face-to-face interview, there are many variations that will let you adapt your tone and match your target audience’s expectations in order to get your message through in an engaging way.
The basic medium/close-up interview
This scenario is the easiest and the most direct way for your interviewee to address your audience: the interviewee is facing the camera (your smartphone) in a fixed shot framed to encompass the person from the waist up (“medium close-up” for the pros). To ensure that your interview video is not too monotonous, it is possible to set up a second camera with a different angle to film in parallel. By alternating shots from both cameras, you can make your video more dynamic.
An alternative is to include the interviewer in the shot, either fully (two-shot) or partially and usually from behind (over the shoulder). The interviewee does not look at the camera, but speaks directly with your reporter. This type of interview gives the audience the feeling that they are witnessing a natural conversation.
Variations on the filmed conversation include the split screen video interview where the interviewee and interviewer appear side by side – that’s very useful when interviews have to be done via Zoom, Facetime or Skype. In fact, we are hearing more and more about “Skype interviews”.
The field interview
In a video interview carried out “in the field”, the emphasis is on showing your subject in an environment that you want to highlight (a factory, a building site, a jacuzzi, etc.) or that stands out (in town, on a terrace, etc.). The camera and your interviewer can stay in place or be constantly in motion – the latter format requires a stabiliser.
Think of those classic shots of the show “The West Wing”: two people walking side by side and having a discussion. But make it slower and less stressful 😅
Often used in documentaries, this type of interview is also an opportunity to show the audience beautiful backdrops and it gives a natural rhythm to your video.
The live interview
We are seeing more and more Youtubers and Instagrammers playing with this format which lets them engage their audience and make them a part of the video by asking questions before the start of the live show or in the comments during the recording. This is the case of Jimmy Kimmel Live Pop Quiz, where people are asked random questions like “Can Dads Answer Questions About Their Kids?”. This lets you create pieces of content that meet the expectations of your target audience. It is then possible to edit the live interview into a clean and shorter version.
The “a day with…” interview
A “day with an employee” type of interview, with a business leader for example, lets the audience immerse itself for a few minutes in the day of the chosen person. There is nothing like showing a customer who uses your product or service in their daily life to demonstrate its advantages. It’s also a great way to show the interviewee’s lifestyle and the behind-the-scenes of your business.
So there you have it, just choose one of these easy-to-create idea and start making a video interview that will meet your objectives.
The pros of video interviews
Giving employees and customers a voice benefits your business in many ways.
The interview is usually pleasant to watch
The number of pieces of content published online is increasing day by day. How can you stand out? The video interview is a format that lets you catch attention because it is often short and easy to watch. Having a person speak to us on video and share their anecdotes sparks our interest and lets us build a bond with them. This keeps the audience attentive throughout your video.
Filming an interview does not require a large budget
Today, more and more businesses are making their interview videos in-house rather than using a film crew. With the advent of mobile phones with cameras that are as good as professional equipment, it is now possible to produce professional quality interviews easily and without major investment thanks to a tool like Kannelle.
Interviews can take many forms
Depending on your objective, it is possible to create different types of interviews. The field of application is almost limitless: serious interviews, or more entertaining ones, in the field, or in a fixed setting…
Interviews and testimonials are versatile
The video interview is all-purpose. Unless it contains confidential information, you can share this type of video anywhere you like! Depending on your target audience, you can choose between internal communications, on your intranet for example, or external communications, on your social media or by emailing.
A video interview can be created in just 15 minutes
Video interviews can be produced quickly with the right tools. Compared to a scripted video or a motion design animation, an interview requires less preparation and is shorter to put together. With Kannelle, you can create a professional interview in 15 minutes.
In a situation where quick turnaround is required, like during events, this is the way to go. For instance, one of our customers captured key moments during a seminar and filmed participant feedback – thanks to Kannelle, they could share their edited video on the same day.
3 techniques for successful video interviews
The directive interview
This type of interview consists of asking very precise questions on a subject chosen beforehand. It is perfect for bringing out expert opinions and views. It can also be adapted to street interviews, for example, where the interest comes from different answers from several people to the same question.
The non-directive interview
During the non-directive interview, the person asking the questions tries to speak as little as possible: the interviewee has the freedom to lead the conversation. This type of interview is often used with professionals and has an informative character. In business, it is perfect for feedback.
The semi-structured interview
As its name suggests, the semi-structured interview is the middle ground between the first two techniques. Often adopted by journalists, this interview strategy consists of alternating open and closed questions, and leaves room for a structured conversation. Be prepared to bounce back on the answers to broaden or deepen your understanding and that of your audience.
Who to interview?
In business, the video interview is an all-purpose tool for producing more content, whatever the objective – communications, marketing, training… Here are some examples of profiles to interview.
The interview with senior leaders
The interview of a business leader is carried out in order to strengthen the relationship with customers, partners and employees. Since the manager represents the business, an interview with him or her lets you build a good reputation and share your vision.
The employee interview
This type of video testimonial lets you highlight an employee’s career path or expertise, promote internal mobility, or present a flagship project. This format is ideal for making your employer brand shine by demonstrating your values.
Interviewing a customer on video is an opportunity to highlight a joint project, an anecdote, and feedback on your products or services. The customer can also explain why they trust your business, for example. And show that they are satisfied!
Interviewing an entrepreneur
To present an in-house project, or a startup you want to promote, there’s nothing like putting the founder or the project owner in front of the camera. We often do this at Kannelle. Count on an entrepreneur’s enthusiasm to to present his or her journey, pitch and vision by addressing your audience directly.
Creating a video interview simply, with just your smartphone
The smartphone that we all carry in our pocket is a real Swiss Army knife for producing content. The quality of cameras is constantly improving and there are so many features that it is now possible to create a video interview using your smartphone, all with a professional look.
If you haven’t tried filming an interview for your business on a smartphone yet, or if you are reluctant to do so, we give you 5 good reasons explaining why you should do it.
1. The most convenient way to film an interview
Your smartphone is always at hand, you usually know how to use it, and it is versatile and suitable for filming in all conditions. Plus, you’re unlikely to forget it. And you can pull it out at any time if an opportunity arises to interview someone who’s always in a hurry, or when you’re at a trade fair or on the move. And you can film your speakers quietly and discreetly thanks to its lightness and compactness. The smartphone is also less intimidating to use than other more professional cameras that require a certain amount of knowledge and sometimes intimidate or change the behaviour of your interviewee.
2. Quality is a non-issue
Today, the quality of smartphone cameras is remarkable and comparable to some quite expensive cameras. Well-known directors such as Steven Soderbergh have used a simple smartphone to make their latest films. So why not video interviews for your business? Just remember to clean the lens to film your subject, and use a stabiliser to get a sharp, pro-like image.
3. A budget you can’t beat
Since everybody has a smartphone, you don’t need to spend more to film your interviews! In general, hiring a video production agency requires some budget and a film crew. So there is just no comparison. And using your smartphone, you have the freedom to make as many video interviews as you want without any limits!
4. A time-saver compared to professional equipment
We are all familiar with smartphones: you just need to frame your subject and press the “record” button. So, your interview can be shot very quickly.
Thus, you can create more engaging interviews more often. This is ideal for your business’s internal communications or to liven up your employees’ news feeds. It’s also ideal for asserting your presence on social networks.
5. The tool that lets you do everything
In addition to capturing, you can also edit your video very quickly on your smartphone: it’s a polyvalent tool that lets you create videos from A to Z. With the Kannelle application, you are guided from scripting right through to automated editing. With plenty of advice and ideas to create your video interview!
Our tips for a successful video interview
At Kannelle, we eat video interviews for breakfast, so here are our tips on how to make them successful.
Before the shoot
First of all, define the message of the video! What type of person do you want to interview? An employee, a customer, a user?
Once you have chosen the person you want to film, what do you want to highlight? Funny stories, career paths, unusual talents and more, you have plenty of possibilities!
Prepare the questions beforehand
This is a necessary step in order to save time and organise the flow of the video. Choose open-ended questions according to the format, as these leave room for fun stories that appeal to the audience. Remember to show them to the interviewee beforehand, so that they can give some thought to their answers, but it is advisable to avoid writing them down. Preparing interview answers to the letter loses the authenticity of the format and leaves no room for improvisation. Also pay attention to the wording of the questions which can influence the answer.
Often, the videos that make the biggest impression are those where the audience feels emotions. No one likes monotonous videos: they are boring to watch and even more boring to create. So use a dose of storytelling: it’s very effective in evoking emotions and creating sympathy with the interviewee.
Consider rehearsing at least once before filming
Do not hesitate to do at least one trial run with your interviewee. This way you can estimate the length of your video with the interviewee’s answers and the interviewee will feel more comfortable during the filming.
Prepare the equipment and the location
As we said earlier, you don’t need a state-of-the-art camera to do a quality video interview! The trick? Equip your smartphone with a tripod to stabilise the image. As for the setting, a well-lit and tidy place is fine. If you don’t have that, you can shoot in front of a white or plain wall. Be careful not to place the speaker too close to the wall.
During the filming
This is the moment when we move on to the execution!
Use good lighting
Although you can shoot very good images with a smartphone, there are a number of things you need to pay attention to when shooting. Choose a well-lit location, preferably with natural light. However, if you have no choice and the location is dark or too bright, use artificial light to compensate for the lack of light.
Pay attention to sound
Sound is also very important: filming in an isolated and quiet place lets you keep the focus on what the person you are talking to is saying. If you want to improve the sound quality even more, you can connect a lapel microphone directly to your smartphone.
Film short sequences
Make sure you capture short sequences: this will give you dynamic shots that will capture your audience’s attention. Also, ask your interviewer to speak only about the essentials for an interesting video.
Once you have shot all your scenes, it is time to put them together to create the final video! When editing, don’t hesitate to cut out only the important moments – especially if you want to produce a 1 to 1.5 minute video, the most effective format. And as you are making a video for your business, it is important to respect its visual identity with its colours, fonts and animations.
The choice of music sets the tone of your video interview: dynamic, calm, cheerful or more solemn. For a light topic, opt for fast and happy music. For a more professional and B2B feel, opt for a more solemn corporate background music. In all cases, always use music that you own the rights to, and make sure that the volume is not too loud, so that the interviewer can be heard.
Intro and outro
Depending on the platform on which you want to publish your video interview, vary the introduction and ending of your video. For social media, think of a “hook”: a catchy phrase at the very beginning of the video to engage your audience. Internally, why not use a “blooper” in which the interviewer laughs? And if your visual identity includes animated jingles and logos, plan to insert them at the beginning or end of the video.
Transitions help to set the pace of the video. In a video interview format, similar transitions are typical, with question boxes appearing just before the answer shot. Also consider cutaways with a second angle or outtakes.
Subtitles are often overlooked, but very important to boost your visibility. In fact, in 2016, 85﹪of videos on Facebook were watched without sound. In the Kannelle app, you have the option to add automated subtitling using voice transcription technology!
Sharing your video interview
Now that you have shot and edited your video, where should you publish it? This is a question that should be asked before you produce it, as you might not be able to give the same information and use the same tone internally as externally. Let’s look at the platforms to choose depending on the message you want to share.
YouTube has around 2 billion users every month, so it’s an ideal platform for sharing your video interview with the aim of reaching a wider audience. If you create your own YouTube channel, you can create a real online presence.
The presence of businesses on social media has become essential. While YouTube has long been the default platform, it is now essential to post your piece of content natively on each network. Whether your interview is intended for your customers, partners or future employees, choose to share it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram depending on your presence and your audience. In B2C, Tiktok debuted in France in 2020 and it may be the right place to find your targets.
Want to target specific customers? Then opt for a customer newsletter with a friendly message that introduces your video interview.
It is also possible to post the video on your website, in order to reach a larger audience but also to optimise your SEO.
Your own video channel
If you wish, it is also possible to create your own video channel! The Dassault Aviation group, for example, has used the business video platform editor, Empreinte, to host all its content. This is great for branding.
Your business intranet
If your intranet lets you do so, this is the best place to share interviews with your colleagues, like content regarding the vision and internal news.
The internet social network
To keep your business’s internal social platform alive, there’s nothing like interviews with new recruits with a touch of humour or a (gentle) trick question. The same goes for employee profiles that you want to recognise and highlight (promotion, seniority, external recognition).
The Learning Management System (LMS), is the ideal platform to share your expert interviews, demonstrations, training and key actions. Since it is used to train your employees, illustrate your words with videos for more effective learning.
To make sure your employees receive the video, you can send it directly to their mailbox, with an introductory message. Often, it is the link to the video that is sent because the file is too large.
Discover our bonus guide!
To keep all these tips at hand and discover additional tricks to create the best business Fast and Curious videos, download our complete guide on video interview right here: