7 Tips to Your First On-Camera Interview

February 28, 2018

Being on-camera can be an intimidating concept, but it doesn’t have to be. Almost every week we work with people who have never been in front of a camera. And to this day, they have all survived.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for when it’s your turn to be the star.

Don’t panic

We’re professionals and have worked with all types of people. We promise to make you look good. Nine times out of 10, the video we are shooting of you will be edited. We will take out all of your “ums,” “uhs,” and “ughs”. We will pull out the best of what you say so there is no need to overthink your responses.

Prepare but don’t over prepare

It’s good to know your subject matter but please don’t rehearse too much. If you memorize your responses to interview questions you run the risk of sounding like a school student reciting a book report. Relax. You know your subject. Again, you will be edited. If you don’t like one of your responses you can always do it over.

Look in the mirror

Before you go on-camera take a few minutes and look in a mirror. Is your hair how you like it? Is your tie straight? How’s the makeup looking? If you’re not sure how you look, please ask us. We are happy to help make you look your very best. Our team has straightened plenty of ties and fixed lots of fly-away hairs.

Be conversational

An interview is not a speech. Take a deep breath and relax. You are having a conversation with the interviewer. There’s no need to over project. There is a mic right by you. The best interviews occur when you can forget about the camera and just focus on the person that you are talking to.

What do I do with my hands?

Often we won’t even see your hands in the framing. If you’re sitting, your hands are fine in your lap. If you are standing, feel free to talk with your hands. Movement is good … to a certain extent.

Where do I look?

Most often you should be looking off-camera, at the interviewer. If eye contact starts to feel awkward try looking at their forehead.

Sometimes you will be asked to look straight into the camera for your interview. This isn’t as common for our style of videos. In the rare case that you are asked to do this, it’s best to look straight into the camera and keep your eyes on the lens. If your eyes start to dart away from the camera it can make you look shifty or nervous.

Phrasing is everything

Most of the time the viewers will not hear the interviewer’s questions. This makes it important for you to answer in a way that fills the audience in on what was asked of you. For example, if I was to ask you, “How’s the weather today?” and you responded, “Nice,” we would have no idea what was “nice.” A response like, “The weather today is nice,” clues the viewer in on what we are talking about.

We often joke that we are behind the camera because we wouldn’t want to be in front of it. It’s really not that bad though. Who knows, maybe you’re an undiscovered talent!