Nov 22nd 2011 9:27AM

The sixth installment in our How to Shoot A Business Profile video series offers some advanced interview techniques to help capture the best content from the primary speaker.

See Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 of our ongoing How To Series

Because business profile videos are driven almost exclusively by the talking points of the customer, the interview is the most important piece of production for a compelling piece. Before the filmmaker even shows up onsite, StudioNow arranges and prepares the advertiser with relevant information for an efficient interview and shoot. But once the camera starts rolling, even the most prepared business owners can freeze up. To avoid this type of situation, we ask that you sit down with the customer first and take down their talking points into the preproduction checklist. This serves as a way to help them organize their ideas and set them at ease with you as a filmmaker. By the time the camera rolls, their talking points are fresh in their mind and 'continuing the conversation' on camera is a seamless transition. Here are the interview questions we provide as a starting place:

  1. What
 makes your 
business 
special?

  2. What 
is 
the 
history 
or 
background
 of
 this 
business?

  3. Why 
did 
you 
start 
the 
business?

  4. What 
are 
you 
best 
known 
for? 

Why?

  5. What 
makes 
this 
business 
different 
from
 other 
businesses 
like 
it?

  6. What 
about 
this 
business 
are 
you 
the 
most 
passionate?

  7. What 
notable 
awards 
have 
you 
won?

  8. If 
you 
were 
to 
tell 
a 
potential 
customer 
why 
they 
should
 come 
here, 
what would 
you 
say?

  9. What 
is 
a 
little 
known 
secret 
about 
this 
business 
that 
customers 
wouldn't
 know?

  10. Are 
there 
any
 tips 
that 
you 
could 
tell 
customers 
that 
would 
improve 
their
 experience 
when
 they 
visit?


Feel free to use those and tweak accordingly. The one factor that sets 

expert

 interviewers apart from someone mindlessly-asking-routine-questions is the ability to make the interviewee 

feel

 like they are participating in a discussion instead of being quizzed or interrogated. But, your job is to be silent so as not to interrupt the recorded audio - so how is this possible?

Two things. Before asking the questions, repeat back over their answers - unpack parts that are interesting, useful or could use clarification, etc. This populates their mind with their answers and allows them to hear them expressed aloud. It is critical because it communicates that you understand their answers. Convince them that you are convinced. Then, engage them with the opportunity to bring the answers to life.

The second and equally important part of interviewing is how you listen. Your nonverbal communication directly impacts the quality and quantity of the answers. You can keep people talking by nodding your head, hand motions and facial expressions. You can always steer them away from unnecessary rambling by closing them off with your hands. Sometimes it feels exaggerated, but do not underestimate the effectiveness! Guide them with an affirming hand.

For more information, you can download the Business Profile Interview Tips and Questions PDF. The video above was brought to you again in collaboration with NovaLight Productions and wraps up the final portion of our production How-To series. The two remaining installments (forthcoming) will focus on post production and exporting. Stay tuned.

Posted
AuthorDaniel Collins