Seven tips for a great on-camera interview

Seven Tips for a Stand Out Interview

By Matt Smith

We have filmed hundreds of interviews over the years at Rockadove. For many of our interviewees, it’s their first time speaking on camera and we understand that sitting in front of a big lens under bright lights is a daunting experience. So, we wanted to share a few tips to help first-timers and experienced speakers  give a confident and natural performance.

Tip #1 - Be prepared

If possible, ask for the questions in advance or at least the topic you’ll be speaking on. At Rockadove, we always share our questions with interviewees in advance to give you the best chance of nailing it on the day. This also allows you to think about things like, how in-depth should my answer be? Who is the audience? How long do I need to speak for?

Tip #2 - Clear and concise

We understand that some questions don’t have simple answers, but brevity is key when it comes to video content. This doesn’t mean speaking quickly, just know that you don’t have to speak at length for every question. Sometimes, just a sentence or two is all that’s needed.

Tip #3 - Practice makes perfect

Once you have your answers thought out, it’s time to practice. It may be tempting to write down your answers and feel prepared, but you won’t be able to read from your notes during the interview so you’ll need to get used to saying them unprompted. Speaking in front of the mirror is a great way to build confidence and identify any unwanted mannerisms you may be unaware of. It may feel awkward at first, but hearing it out loud really does make a difference.

Tip #4 - It’s not live

Don’t worry if you stumble over your words or fail to make your point during an answer. This isn’t live TV where you only get one shot. Just ask if you can have another go and we’ll repeat the question. In fact, we encourage our interviewees to repeat their answers as more often than not, it’ll be clearer and more succinct the second time around.

Tip #5 - Finish your thought

There’s a temptation to keep going during interviews to fill the silence, but don’t. Simply stop talking once you’ve made your point.

Tip #6 - Dress to impress

If you’re going to be filmed in a video that represents you or the organisation you work for, it’s important to look your best. We don’t always have a hair and make-up artist with us on shoots so this means making yourself presentable and wearing appropriate clothing.

BONUS TIP: Avoid stripes altogether.

Tip #7 - Be passionate

A little enthusiasm goes a long way on camera. Our best interviews are always with people who let their passion shine through (this can be as simple as remembering to smile!). If you’re wondering what to do with your hands, use them to gesture if you find it helps.

In summary, have a clear plan for what you want to say ahead of time, practice it, speak with passion and look the part.

You got this!

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