We get it. the idea of interviews can be a little daunting, both to first timers and seasoned pros – So we’ve put together a list of hot tips to help guide you through the process!
preparing for the interview
Know what you want to talk about, but don’t learn a script or lines. It’s usually pretty obvious when someone is reading out a prepared script, and equally obvious when they’re trying to remember a script they’ve memorised. Instead, prepare for your interview by making a list of bullet points or “talking points” that you want to cover. Then during the interview as your interviewer asks related questions, you can talk through them and make your points just like you would in a conversation. Try to keep you language simple, informal and straightforward too.
You most likely already know what your interview will be about – We’ll ensure you know what we’re looking for, what the topics are we’d like to touch on. You also may receive the interview questions in advance or given an outline of what we’d like to touch on to help you prepare for your interview.
On the shoot day
what to wear
Have some fun with your wardrobe and be sure it reflects your personality. Choose comfortable clothing that showcases the real “you”. Feeling good about yourself is key. And it will show. If you feel uncomfortable wearing certain clothes, then chances are you’ll look uncomfortable too!
Try not to wear clothes that make a lot of noise. Materials like fleece, silk and lace can make a lot of noise and distract from your dialogue. So try to avoid those shirts that make a lot of rustling when you move, or those bulky jackets that are just plain loud. We want to hear what you’re saying! Also, keep dangly jewellery to a minimum. Rings are fine but necklaces and noisy earrings can be very distracting!
Avoid wearing anything that has thin stripes or tight patterns at all costs! Digital cameras have trouble capturing tight patterns and it can leave your clothes looking like a funky strobing rainbow! Sounds cool, but trust us, it’s super distracting.
White shirts or tops should also be avoided unless a dark jacket is used to go over the top – White reflects a lot of light and may be too bright in some situations, and they will look a little fuzzy on-screen. If you are being interviewed in a studio, check with your producer if you are being shot on a green, blue or white screen – and if so, avoid wearing these colours.
If you wear glasses, be sure to bring a cleaning cloth with you to remove any smudges.
If you’re unsure about a certain outfit or piece of clothing, feel free to get in touch with your contact for the project, or bring a couple of different options to try out on the day!
before we roll
Get comfortable with the crew: We love a good chat and laugh, so we’ll spend some time before we jump into the interview to get to know each other! This helps a lot to ease any worries you may have, which makes for a great interview. You can also get to know us a little before your shoot by having a look at our cinema team page on the website.
Take what you need to be comfortable: Don’t go in front of a camera full of nerves and sweaty palms. Do whatever is necessary to help you relax — stretch, do jumping jacks, listen to music, go into the bathroom to talk to yourself. Sit in front of the camera only when you’re feeling calm, cool and collected. It will add to your confidence.
Stay hydrated: When people get nervous your mouth gets dry so water is essential. Lip-balm helps with this too. Taking a water break can also be a great way to pause for a moment and calm your nerves.
Take every opportunity to be in-front of the lens: I know this sounds like the opposite of what you might want to do, but the more time you spend in front of the camera, the more 'right' it will feel. And as with overcoming any challenge, that's a good feeling. It also means you're going to be even better and mroe comfortable doing interviews like this in the future!
what to say
Use your natural voice. While some of us admit to practicing our news anchor voices, Be yourself and speak to the interviewer like they are friend. Not only is it more natural, but it’s what people expect. You are most likely very passionate about what you do, or the project you’re involved in, so we really want to capture that in a way you’d tell someone about it in person. The less formal you think about it, the easier it is!
Put the question in your answer. When the final video is edited, The interviewer won’t feature in the video, nor will the questions asked be included. So to ensure your responses have context and make sense in the final edited video, we will need you to include a component of the question in the lead in.
You know what you’re talking about. So focus on how you deliver the goods. It’s all about how you say it. Pacing matters. Your choice of words is also key. Simple and clear answers beat a long winded mouthful any day.
Take your time! If you need a few moments to think about your answer, go for it. We want you to have the best answers you can, so don’t stress about not getting it right the first time. If you stumble a little, don’t worry, Or you can stop and try again. You can re-do as many times as you want!
Sometimes you might be asked a similar questions or touch on things you may have already talked about. So if you’ve already mentioned a point during the interview, try not to say “Like I said before”, or refer back to that moment. As the audience may get confused if the previous quote isn’t included in the final cut. This may seem a little repetitive, but our interviewers are doing it for a reason. So bear with us, and we’ll be sure to use the best bits in the final edit.
what to do
Talk and look at your interviewer, rather than the camera: If you are being interviewed, look at and talk to the person interviewing you rather than the camera. It's much easier to talk to a responsive face than a cold hard lens. You’re really just having a conversation with the interviewer, so just keep eye-contact with them like you would in normal conversation.
Pretend the camera isn’t there, or is a person: We totally get this is easier said than done, but sometimes just ignoring it and chatting your interviewer is the easiest way to stay relaxed. Otherwise, just pretend it’s another person listening to you. After all, it sees and hears what the audience will, so address it like a human!
It is also a good idea to remove any distractions such as mobile phones, coins in your pockets or even swivel chairs that might take your attention away from your answer. Even if your phone is on silent, that little vibration in your pocket is enough to throw you off!
Mum Was Right: Sit Up Straight! The camera exaggerates everything because there is nothing to distract the viewer. If your posture is poor, viewers will think you've checked out and lost interest. Your body should convey your energy and intelligence without being stiff and robotic. Also try not to fidget too much as that will be distracting to the audience.
Smile! Sounds obvious right? But we get it. Being on camera can be intimidating and make you nervous, which will show on camera. You want to look happy and excited to share your wisdom. So we’ll keep that energy high to ensure you come across stoked to be talking about your passions. A warm and genuine smile does wonders for coming across as sincere and confident.
Breathing Is Good - Not only is it essential for life, but breathing is necessary to be awesome on camera. So if you feel you’re running out of breath, slow it down a little and take breaths when you need to.
Some final tips
This might seem obvious and difficult, but relaxing makes for a much more enjoyable experience and a more effective result. Relaxing your body; including shoulders, eyebrows and your face ensures you don't come across as anxious or uncomfortable (even if you are)! Your posture also makes a huge difference. Remember, we are not live, you can always have another go if you make a mistake and there is always the luxury of editing!
Have fun! It is possible, we promise.
The best interviews are the ones where everyone’s relaxed and enjoying themselves.
Finally, be yourself.
It’s important to be yourself on camera. Allow you and your personality to flourish! Remember, you're the expert and most likely discussing something you're really passionate about. So make sure you let that show in your interview.
That’s it! From there, our post – production team will pick the best bits from the interview, and fix any mistakes to make you look and sound like the total legend you are. So sit back, relax, and look forward to seeing the finished product once it’s done!
Remember; if you have any questions you can get in touch with us or your contact for the project and we’ll be more than happy to guide you through the process.
We look forward to meeting you very soon!
- The Momentum Cinema Team