If your company is doing a promotional video that requires testimonials from your happy and
satisfied customers, being able to build a rapport with the interviewee is even more essential.
Because we are interviewing common people – most likely people who have little or no
experience being interviewed in front of a camera – they are bound to be more self-conscious
and camera shy.
Having a shy and self-conscious interviewee can be a challenge to the interviewer. This is why
it is important to put him or her at ease. Some people would ask for a ready-made script, so
they would not have to worry about stuttering or stammering on-camera. This may or may
not be in line with the objective of your company video (a testimonial that is spontaneous and
unscripted will seem more authentic and believable) so having someone with a lot of experience
in conducting interviews is essential.
The most important thing to remember is that no one, and I say absolutely no one wants to
look like a fool in front of a camera. Hence, interviewers have to continuously reassure the
interviewees (“Did I say that right? Did I look stupid? You are still gonna edit that, right?
Can we do it again?”) and make a call if, indeed, the interviewee looked or talked like a fool.
In my own experience, flattery goes a long way in putting your interviewee at ease. This is not
to say that I lie to them. Of course not. I complement them on their makeup (because I can tell
they spent hours at the salon whether they admit it or not), their outfit, their house. I express my
sincere admiration and assure them that they’ll do just fine and that we can take as many cuts as
necessary. You know, whatever works.
Please post your comments below.