3 Tips to Prepare for an On-Camera Interview

On-Camera Interviews are some of the most common and versatile types of video footage that is captured. You can use interview footage in just about every type of Corporate Video. (Find out more about each type of corporate video in our blog post: 9 Types of Corporate Videos)

Despite being the most common type of footage, the experience as a whole can be very intimidating for an interviewee (or the Talent as we say in the Video Industry). This is mostly due to a lack of knowledge about the video production process. At Lapse Productions, we want to create a video experience that is fun and positive for everyone involved, which is why we decided to write an article on 3 tips to help you prepare for an on-camera interview.

In this article, we will first go over the work that goes behind an interview video followed by what to expect on the shoot day. We will then go over the 3 tips to help you prepare:

  • Tip #1 – Wear the Proper Clothing
  • Tip #2 – Practice Makes Perfect
  • Tip #3 – Don’t Stress, Relax

Behind Every Interview Video…

Here is an examples of a Company Profile Video we created for The Rhodes. It includes interview footage mixed with b-roll footage. B-roll footage is supplemental footage that is mixed in with the main footage.

While this video looks like it was shot in an afternoon with all the interviewees nailing their questions in one take, the reality is that there is a lot more that went into it.

Think about videos like an iceberg, what you are seeing as the final product is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot went into preparing for the shoot date, the actual shoot date itself, and what was left on the cutting room floor.

For example, each of the people we interviewed in this video, spoke for an average length of 30 minutes. That 30 minute talking portion was trimmed down to fit in this 3 minute 39 second video.

The unused footage consisted of retakes, fumbles, and discarded questions.

The reason I am telling you this is to let you know that you don’t need to nail everything on the first try. There might be times where we will be asking you the same question sometimes 2 to 4 times and then in the editing room we might use the first half of the sentence from take 1 and the second half of the sentence from take 3 and when you watch the video you’ll think its from all from the same take.

Okay so now that we have a little understanding what goes on behind the scenes let’s go on what you should expect on the shoot date.

What to expect

On the day of your shoot, you will be asked to go to make up. Once there, the Make Up Artist (MUA) will fix you up so that you look your best in front of the camera. Keep in mind that make up artists won’t be on set at every shoot so if you need make up then try to do it beforehand. (Side note, if you have shiny skin then use matte make-up.)

Once make up is completed, you will enter the set. Most sets in offices will look like this:

lapse productions interview bts
Bts from our Testimonial Video shoot at The DMZ

It might seem a little chaotic at first but the important thing to note is that you will look great on camera! 

You will then be asked to be seated while the camera crew adjusts lighting, camera, and audio equipment. While you are talking with the producer, director, and your work contact, the audio operator will ask you to countdown or say what you had for breakfast so that they can monitor the audio levels. This is done so that once the interview starts there will be little to no interruptions. 

lapse productions interview bts pov
Interviewee POV from The Rhodes Company Profile Video

After the camera crew is finished and ready to start the Producer or Director will begin the interview. From there everything is straightforward and before you know it you’ll be done! 

So now that you know understand the video process let’s go over some tips.

Tip #1 – Wear the Proper Clothes

Clothes that have lines or patterns confuse the camera sensor resulting in the Moire Effect. We call these dancing lines because they are very distracting to the eye. Instead of lined or patterned clothing, try to go for solid colors instead. A good rule of thumb is to avoid loud colors, especially if they are brighter than your skin tone.

For green screen shoots, avoid wearing anything that is green.

Also, this goes without saying but dress appropriately for the occasion. Make sure you match your workplace dress code and make sure your clothes are fresh and properly ironed.

Tip #2 – Practice, Practice, Practice

Unless you’ve been through several on-camera interviews, the first time will always be nerve wracking. It’s a strange experience to have cameras pointed at you while people are looking at you. Even if you’re used to speaking to crowds, it’s not the same thing at all. We usually call this the deer in the headlights look. 

We recommend you practice prior to the shoot date. The best way to do this is to record yourself on your phone and then watch the footage or if possible, have a family member interview you and record you. If you do this then try to look off to the left or right side of the camera (at the interviewer or some object) because on almost every video shoot the interviewee will be speaking to the interviewer and not looking directly into the camera.

Tip #3 – Just Relax

As I mentioned earlier, what you see in the final video is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes, especially in the editing room. From your entire interview, only a portion will be used and from that small portion, a lot of it will be Frankensteined to make it seem like you are a one take wonder. All you need to do is just relax and answer the questions to the best of your ability.

This might sound overwhelming but just know that we’ve been doing this for 7 years and we know how to make you look your best.

Side note: Avoid caffeinated drinks prior to going in front of the camera.

lapse productions two camera shot
Two cameras allow us to remove fumbles by going from Camera 1 to Camera 2


So now that we’re at the end, lets go over what we discussed:

On shoot day, you will arrive on set to see a camera crew and their set up all ready to go. You will then be seated while the Producer, Director, and your business contact make small talk with you while the camera crew finishes setting up. Once that is completed the interview will begin. 

Prior to the interview, you can practice being prepared by:

  1. Wearing the proper clothes: Avoid wearing clothing with patterns or lines or bright white colors
  2. Practice makes perfect: Practice your answers by having a friend or family member or significant other interview you. Record yourself while you are practicing.
  3. Just relax: We know how to get the best answers out of you and how to make you look good. Just relax and know that your camera crew will work their magic. 

Thank you for reading Lapse Production‘s article on 3 Tips to prepare for an On-Camera Interview. We hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about filming an interview video for your organization please reach out to me at dario@lapseproductions.com

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