He said, she said: interview tips

The time has come for you to be interviewed. And not just any old interview, but one in front of a camera. This still gives some people sleepless nights and makes them feel uneasy as it’s a situation that they’re simply not used to. We provide you with tips on how to prepare for the camera. First though, an important bit of advice that’s in your own interest: don’t get unsettled. The situation in front of the camera might be a little unusual initially. The many people on the set. A lens that is only pointing at you. But don’t worry; you’ll get used to it after a few minutes. Simply imagine that you’re having a conversation that can be repeated any number of times. The important thing is that you trust us. We’ve been doing our job for over 10 years and are filming a commissioned production, not a Hollywood film. So, stay calm and we’ll take care of the rest.



The most important questions and answers

How long does an interview last? We usually give ourselves at least 2 hours for an interview. That means that you have plenty of time and don’t need to rush things. However, you’ll be given a time frame in advance.

Is there a teleprompter? If you find it hard to talk without notes, the team can provide a teleprompter on request. We’re confident that you won’t need one though.

Is it better to stand or sit? We’re guided by the premises and the story. Our tip: if you stand up, your body language usually speaks for itself.

What should I wear? We want to film an authentic interview. That means that you should always feel comfortable in what you’re wearing and never look like you’ve dressed up specially. Avoid clothes with very delicate patterns, such as chequered patterns of less than a finger width in size. Also avoid wearing corporate colours or those of the client who commissioned the film as this looks too advertising-like. Wear clothes in which you feel comfortable and that reflect your position.

Will someone put make-up on me? We’ll make sure that you look good: with transparent make-up for men and several different shades for women. If you want to present products to the camera, also make sure that you’ve been newly manicured. Depending on the shoot conditions, we can take very close detailed shots.

What premises are best? Large, quiet and impressive-looking rooms are ideal for interviews. The more luxuriant the room, the greater the depth of image created in our film. The premises should fit with the topic and the person being interviewed. For example, we can have computers in the background when interviewing IT specialists.

What access rights does PAGES need for shoots? To enable us to make swift progress with our work, we need access to the film locations for the interview and b-roll. If necessary, please notify your security team about us so that we can film several cut-ins of our own accord.

Now on to the serious stuff: the interview itself

The sequence of events: the director or cameraman asks the questions. Don’t worry about saying things wrong or giving the wrong answer. We can repeat things as many times as needed to get them right. Make yourself some notes if necessary but put them out of reach during the interview. Our tip: imagine that you’re in your favourite restaurant, telling a story to a close friend or family member.

The camera: when the camera starts running, don’t look directly into it. Instead, look your interview partner in the eye. We can gladly also check the image on the monitor. Our tip: look at your interview partner’s forehead.

Action: video productions follow certain procedures: the sound and cameramen give the Director a “Go” to indicate that the technology is running. The director will then turn to you and say “Action” – this is your sign to start. Our tip: wait 1 to 2 seconds before and after you say anything. These gaps are important for the editing process.

Confounded slip-ups: filler words like “um” are perfectly human and will be removed during the editing process. There’s therefore no need for you to interrupt your answer unless the director wants you to do so.

Optimisation: if a better way to put something suddenly occurs to you mid-speech, simply finish your answer anyway. In many cases, phrasing can be modified during the editing process – if you suddenly stop talking and start again though, it’s not normally possible. In the end, we will have recorded both versions and can still make decisions during the editing stage.

Answers: integrate the question into your answer so that you appear to be speaking independently in the film. It won’t normally be possible to hear the questions in the film.

You’ve now learned the most important Dos and Don’ts and nothing more stands in the way of your interview. If you do still have any questions though, we’re more than happy to help! #RockingItTogether #SmileForTheCamera