Most of our corporate video work involves interviews in some capacity, which is a big difference from commercial video work. For corporate interviews, another huge difference is involving people with limited to no on-camera experience, versus professional actors and performers. Understandably, many people are nervous on camera or concerned about how they will appear and whether they’ll be an asset to the company’s video or a detriment. Here are 5 tips to help you appear natural and confident during an interview:
- Look your best. For most people, looking their best helps them feel their best. You don’t want to spend the whole interview worried about your hair, your makeup, your clothing, or even your skin. If you’re especially concerned about looking your best, have the production company hire a hair and makeup artist for the shoot. For a reasonable price, you can add peace of mind to the proceedings and have the same treatment professional actors enjoy on every shoot.
- Prepare for what to say, but not how to say it. A really big issue with many executives is over-preparation or memorization of speeches, but without focusing on speaking from the heart. If you try to read from a prepared speech, or carefully remember each word you want to say, you won’t look natural unless you’re a very gifted speaker (in which case, why are you reading this blog entry? You’ll nail it!). Remember the basic content and ideas you want to deliver, but not the specific words. In other words, when talking about your company’s values, remember key concepts like customer service, value, and innovation, then elaborate based on the words that come to mind in the moment. You will appear much more natural and composed than trying to recite a five-paragraph essay.
- Pick an interviewer with whom you’re familiar. As a production company, we make it our policy in general to ask clients to conduct their own interviews. Our videographer has to watch light levels, color tones, sound, and framing. He doesn’t have the mental space to focus on the content of the speech extensively and asking questions. Additionally, we find that our interview subjects respond best to a familiar voice and someone they already know. When you’re conducting an interview with someone familiar, the tone will be more conversational and friendly, which benefits the finished video greatly.
- Never hesitate to restart or keep talking. Don’t worry about missteps or not saying what you wanted to say perfectly the first time. Keep speaking your mind, elaborate on what you want to say, and restart when necessary. The editor will cut around any missteps and make you look your best, which is their job. Your job is to find the heart of what you want to say, which may take a few tries. Stressing yourself out over not being perfect won’t help the interview or your delivery, so relax and just keep talking until you find your way.
- Record a test run on your smart phone answering a few questions. When you play back your answers, pay attention to whether you launch into sentences with words like “so” or “well” or “umm.” Try to cut down on nervous tendencies or blank words (specifically, “umm”) that betray your confidence and expertise. One key I have used is to delay my response to questions for a few seconds, thinking how I will start. When people want to start speaking immediately, they have a tendency to launch into their sentence with “Well, that’s a good question, umm…” or such delaying tactics. Take a deep breath, collect yourself, and launch right into your thoughts after collecting them.