The best videos tell a story that viewers can relate to, recognize themselves or their situations in or allow them to learn something. Many times, talking head interviews provide the basis for the story.
Interviews are a key component to testimonial, documentary and corporate video development. By asking employees, customers and other stakeholders about your business and what you do, we’re able to gather the building blocks, and sometimes even the cornerstones, of the story we want or need to tell. Then, through the magic of video editing, we cut the elements of your story apart and pull them back together to craft your concise and compellingly convey your brand message.
The key to a successful interview video is a natural conversation. Keeping the setup small, and the space comfortable creates an inviting environment for the subject, as does asking anyone who doesn’t need to be in the room to step out so they aren’t a distraction to the interviewee.
The interviewer’s job is to guide the discussion. That means asking open-ended questions and allowing the subject to do most of the talking. Open-ended questions contain a “why” or a “how” component, which allow the interviewee to expound at length rather than answering “yes” or “no,” which is what closed-ended questions lead to.
The more the interviewee speaks, the more comfortable they will be on camera, the more forthcoming they will be and the more approachable they will feel to the people who ultimately view the video. This makes for powerful stories.
Before that, though, you need to know what questions to start with. To make it easy, we’ve pulled together a list of some of the questions we ask when filming interviews for corporate and testimonial videos.
Recruitment & Corporate Questions
With recruitment and corporate videos, try to get the subject to open up about their passion for the field. Start with surface-level questions about the job, then ask more in-depth questions as the interview progresses.
- What is your title and the responsibilities of your job?
- Can you describe the day-to-day here?
- Why did you choose to go into the [healthcare, manufacturing, customer service, etc.] field?
- What would you tell a friend if they were considering working here?
- Can you tell me about a time where a manager or co-worker went above and beyond for you?
- At the end of the day, what puts a smile on your face?
- What is a benefit of working here that not many people know about?
- What is your “why”?
- What have you learned at your job... and how have you grown as a person?
- Any funny moments or stories with co-workers that you could share?
Product or Service Testimonial Questions
Testimonial videos about products or services should focus on how a problem was solved. Ask questions about the time and cost savings of the product or service. The above example is a case study created for one of our clients that used a lot of the questions below. Explore our testimonial video production services if your business is looking for videos like this.
- Can you tell me a bit about yourself... and what you or your company does?
- Can you describe the product or service you have been using?
- What problems was your business having before using this product or service?
- How has this product or service been a solution to your problem?
- How has this product or service saved your business time or money?
- Why did you choose this product or service over others?
- How has this product or service removed stress or frustration in your work?
- What would you say to someone looking for a similar product or service?
Patient Testimonial Questions
Patient story videos are important element of healthcare video production can be very powerful if done correctly. The key to a successful patient story is focusing on the patient. Ask questions about their passions and interests, family and what brings them joy. Usually they will open up about how a certain medical problem was getting in the way of their life.
Above is an example of a patient testimonial video we created for Holland Hospital. For an in-depth look at video marketing for hospitals, read our Healthcare Video Strategy Blog.
- Can you tell me about yourself... what is your story?
- Any hobbies or activities you enjoy?
- How long have you been dealing with [medical problem]?
- How did [medical problem] get in the way of your life?
- Did you think this is the new ‘normal’ for you?
- Can you walk me through the treatment process from start to finish?
- Did you have any doubts about the treatment before starting?
- How are you feeling now?
- Can you describe the care you received from the staff?
- Are you back to your hobbies now?
- What are you looking forward to?
- If someone you know is experiencing a similar problem, what would you tell them?
Best Practices for Filming Someone
The most important aspect of filming someone is listening. Listen to what they say, and ask follow-up questions based on their responses. Try to dive deep into the “why” or “how” of their thoughts.
We recommend that you not print out the questions but keep them in your mind, instead. Again, the interview should be a conversation that flows naturally. If you do need to reference an outline, try to minimize how many times you refer to it.
We always let people know that there is no wrong answer to the questions. In addition, because people are often nervous and nervous interviewees don’t make for the best videos, we assure them they’ll see the video prior to it being used and have an opportunity to provide feedback.
End the interview by asking if they have anything else they would like to say.
Last but not least, keep the camera rolling for a few minutes. Subjects often feel relief that the interview is concluded and are more comfortable than at any other point in your discussion. Some of the best statements they make come out with that relief.
In other words, that’s when your video really starts to click!
Remember, if you don’t have time to conduct interviews and pull together these types of marketing videos yourself, we're ready to help. Schedule a discovery session or quote below or explore our testimonial video production services.