6 Lifesaving Interview Question Tips

How to create an amazing interview lighting setup, easily and quickly!

How to script and shoot an interview

As commercial filmmakers, interviews form the structure of many of our films. From corporate talking heads to cinematic VoiceOver. However many of the people we are filming, recording or talking with aren’t professional actors or tv presenters, in fact its rare that we do use professionals for this. We actually advise clients to use real people in their films to boost the authenticity (one of the key markers for success).

So, how do you prep for an interview with someone who isn’t professional and might be nervous or has no media training? In this video we will drop 6 quick tips to boost your interviewing skills, allowing you to get emotive and engaging content every time.


1 : Use questions – not a script.

You need to have carefully planned what you want the interviewee to say, of course. But asking them to read directly off a script is going to stifle any emotion from the speaker. They are going to be focused of getting the words right and not thinking about what they really want to say. Better to map out what you want them to say, and then pose questions that you think will generate those answers.

Write out the perfect script, what you hope they will say in the interview. and then go over and draft questions that might elicit natural answers that are close to your script. You won’t get it word for word, but thats not the idea. Doing this you will keep the interview on track, but allow the speakers true personality to shine though.

2 – Warm Up

You need a few questions to break the ice and test audio levels. Drop in a few really easy or funny ones at the start to get everyone smiling. They won’t make the edit, but it’s important to get everyone relaxed.

3 – Slow down

Nervous people talk quickly, they want this ordeal to be over. Keep an eye on tempo and remind them to take their take, you or your editor will thank you later.

4 – Listen

Really listen – the speaker might be about to delver a golden soundbite, but needs a follow up questions to feel confident enough to answer it. Its your job to give them that confidence. If you see the interview taking a unique course, follow it, see that why have to say. But your only know that by listening.

5 – Be awkward

Create an awkward pause

This forces the interviewee to carry on, or elaborate on what they were saying, 9 times out of 10 they will smile and elaborate. If you need more depth, just stop talking.

6 – Empathise with them

if they are nervous and not overcoming it, stop . Keep the camera rolling, ask ask some genuine questions you have about them or their business, off script, just talk to them openly. You might capture some gold.

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