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How to Make an Interview Video Professionally - Ultimate Guide

Learn how to make an interview video with our full guide. We cover each step and share important dos and don't of interview videos.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Last Updated:
April 9, 2024
14
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Recording interviews is no mean feat. And it can definitely feel intimidating on both sides, whether you’re the interviewer or the interviewee. 

Achieving a professional standard interview requires time, practice, experience, and the right kinds of tools. Though there’s no standard formula for a successful interview, there are some widely accepted ‘dos and don’ts’.

 In this article, we’ve put together an in-depth guide to recording a video interview (remotely), what you’ll need to capture high-quality footage, and some tips on what you should and shouldn’t do to ace your interview. 

TL;DR 

  • An interview is a popular content format for podcasters and corporate marketers alike. 
  • Interview videos are engaging, compelling, and easy to repurpose. 
  • Some popular interview videos include podcast, street-style, and corporate interviews. 
  • You’ll need a camera, mic and recording software to get started with your video interviews. 
  • Choose your recording space carefully & make sure to do your research before heading into your interview. 

What is an interview video?

When you think of an interview video, you might imagine a job interview scenario with the candidate on camera. Though this is one type of interview video, we’re actually talking about a different sort: interviews as a type of video content. A video interview is where a guest or multiple sit down in front of a camera to answer questions about a certain topic. The host may or may not appear in the recording. 

Interview videos are a popular format for different types of content, ranging from video podcasts to corporate marketing materials. 

In a video podcast, the host will sit down to talk to a guest - they might be a personal friend, an industry expert, a personality, or a celebrity. Corporate interview videos tend to include business employees, executives, or even real customers. 

Why should you create video interviews? 

You might be wondering why you should create video interviews. If you already record audio-based interviews regularly, you might not see any point in the added effort. It might feel like an intimidating set up for creators who haven’t ever tried an interview-format video. Here are just a few of the reasons it’s definitely worthwhile: 

Benefits of interview videos

Engaging 

Video drives deeper engagement and high rates of interaction. In fact, videos get 1200% more shares han text and images. We do not deny the strengths of an audio-based or written interview but we’re advocating for the unique power of video to connect with your audience. 

Plus, video interviews are often a favorite among audiences. For example in podcasting, our 2023 report revealed that video interviews are the most popular format at the moment.

Interesting & personal 

Interviews offer a real personal insight into the interviewee. Whether they’re discussing their personal experiences or sharing their expertise on a topic, interviews provide the inside track on what that person has to say. The added visual element of a video interview lets your viewers get up close and personal with your guest, connecting to them on a human level. 

Easy 

Video interviews are easy to produce, so why wouldn’t you? This is especially the case if you’ve already got the setup to record audio-based content. 

Repurposable 

Video interviews are super versatile. Even if you record a video, later down the line, you could repurpose the audio and video separately for socials and create a transcript to turn into a written blog, for example. 

Types of interview videos and examples

Interview videos don’t always look the same. Though the baseline format is standard: one person asks the questions, and the other responds, interview videos can take a lot of different forms. Here are some common examples:

Street-style interviews 

This kind of interview occurs on location, on the go. Street-style or on-location interviews involve a host asking lots of passersby a question or two. You can choose whether the host appears on camera or not. 

Because these interviews are more ‘on-the-fly’, they tend to be more conversational and casual. This doesn’t have to mean lower quality, though. 

This video by Vogue is the perfect example:

Remote video podcast interview 

Remote video interviews are a simple and effective format. This type of interview usually involves a host and their guest talking about a specific subject. Using a tool like Riverside, you can create studio-quality remote videos with even the simplest setup. 

Watch this episode of ‘Street You Grew Up On’ with Kerry Washington and Michelle Obama to see a great example. You can get a glimpse of Riverside's high-quality recordings, as the production company that records Kery Washington’s show uses Riverside. 

Corporate interview video 

This ‘What’s it like to work at Google’ video showcases the value of a corporate interview video. Not only are the voices of real employees compelling, but the use of B-Roll effectively contextualizes what the speakers are talking about. 

What do you need to make an interview video?

You don’t need all the fanciest bells and whistles to record a top-quality interview. Here’s an idea of what kind of equipment you should be looking for: 

Equipment

Microphone(s) 

A microphone is essential for recording top-quality audio. The type you choose depends on what kind of interview you’ll be recording. For instance, if you’re going to be recording on the go, a compact and portable mic like the Rode VideoMicro II will be perfect. In a studio, you’ll be better off with something like the Blue Yeti or ShureMV7

Camera

Next, you need to find yourself a decent camera. You can use a webcam, your mobile phone if it’s got a reliable built in camera, or a DSLR. We suggest you try the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, the Nikon D7500 or the Sony ZV-E10.

Mobile or Computer 

Finally, most interview setups require a mobile or computer. If you’re recording remotely or in the studio, your mobile/desktop is an integral part of the recording setup. You’ll need a computer to upload and edit your footage if you're out on location. 

Recording Software

For in-studio and remote interviews, you’re going to need video interview recording software. It’s essential to choose the right platform for your needs, which is why you need to know what to look for. Your key criteria should be a minimum of: 

  • Local recording: The platform you choose should record each participant on their own device rather than over the internet. This maximizes recording quality and means you don’t have to worry about wifi connection. 
  • Multitrack recording: We suggest you capture every interviewee’s audio and video on a separate recording track. This makes your live a whole lot easier during post-production. 
  • Lossless and uncompressed files: Instead of compressing your recordings, lossless files preserve the quality of your original audio 
  • Easy guest workflow: Not all your guests will be tech-savvy so it;s a good idea to find software that’s easy to use.  You want everyone to enjoy the experience instead of facing technical difficulties or getting lost in your recording software 

How to make an interview video professionally

Making a professional interview video definitely takes some practice. Here’s how to make sure everything goes smoothly. 

Step 1: Do your research 

It’s essential to research your guest's background, experience, and achievements. Knowing everything you can about them will help you prepare a strong set of questions to ask. You’ll know exactly what topics your viewers will want you to delve into and which questions will start the most exciting conversations with your guest. 

Step 2: Take time to plan 

Carve out enough time to plan your interview (and all related logistics). One of the biggest tasks at this stage will be deciding on your final list of questions (though leave room for digression if the flow of the conversation goes that way). You’ll also need to pin down a date for recording, and if you send your guest recording equipment, you’ll have to get your package shipped. 

Step 3: Use the right tools 

Using the right kind of recording tools will set you up for success. Choose your mic, camera, and recording software carefully, and you’re already halfway there. 

Step 4: Keep the pace (but stay flexible) 

On the day, it’s your job to keep the interview moving. You need to achieve a delicate balance of letting your guest talk (since that’s what you’re there for) and moving things along so that you can ask all your questions. 

It’s also good to try and stay flexible. Though you may have compiled a comprehensive list of questions, stay open to unexpected topics of conversation. Sometimes the best segments arise organically without any forward planning. 

Step 5: Take your time in post-production 

Once you’ve put in the hard work to record your interview, it’s important to dedicate enough time during post-production to polish everything off. It’s likely that you’ll have a lot of raw footage that needs to be cut down to the most engaging and interesting segments. If you interviewed a number of people, you’ll also need to spend some time sorting and sequencing their individual interviews. 

If you’ve got limited resources or time and a budget to spend, you might want to consider outsourcing your post-production to a video editing service. 

Step 6: Properly publish and promote 

When your interview video is ready to go, you need to have a publication and promotion strategy to make sure it gets the exposure you deserve. You should make sure to create highlight reels and promotional videos that you can share on your own social profiles.  Luckily with Riverside clips, this is easier than ever!

Make sure to encourage your interview guests to  promote as well. All of this activity is key to driving traffic to the original content and boosting those viewer numbers. 

Recording Remote Interview Videos with Riverside

Riverside interview video software

Riverside is a specialized remote recording software that helps you to record professional-quality interview videos from your home. Let’s take a look at how it does that: 

  • Local recording. You and your interviewee are recorded locally on your own devices rather than over the internet. This means crystal-clear video and audio that’s immune to dodgy internet. 
  • 4K video & WAV audio. Record the best quality audio and video possible with Riverside, which always defaults to lossless and uncompressed file formats. 
  • Separate track recording. Riverside records everyone on a separate track. This makes your life a lot easier when you’re editing. 
  • Easy guest flow. Your interview guest will have no trouble accessing your recording studio from their browser or mobile, which means less trouble for you and a more enjoyable experience for them. 
  • Progressive upload. Riverside progressively uploads your tracks during your recording session to reduce the risk of losing your data and minimize your waiting time at the end of your interview. 
  • Browser-based & mobile app. Riverside is browser-based, so you don’t need to download any software to start. Alternatively, download the free iOS or Android app and record directly from your phone. 
  • Livestream & audience interaction. You can livestream to major platforms directly from Riverside. This is a great way to include your audience in your interview recording. You can even let your audience get involved with the live call-in feature. 
  • Text-based video and audio editor. Save yourself time! Riverside's editor uses Ai transcriptions so you can make quick and precise edits as easily as editing a text document.
  • Social clips. Riverside lets you create short promotional clips for your socials as part of your recording workflow. 
  • Transcription. Generate an automatic transcription of your interview so that you can repurpose it, quote it, and make sure it's accessible to your whole audience. 
  • Budget-friendly. Riverside offers a free plan that lets you try all its features. You can upgrade to a paid subscription from just $15/month. 

How to record a remote interview with Riverside 

As we said earlier, Riverside caters directly to content creators and podcasters. So you’ll have no problem getting to grips with how everything works. Here’s a brief introduction to the recording workflow: 

Step 1: Create your Riverside account and then head to your dashboard. Click ‘+ New Studio’ 

Step 2: Give your studio a name and select ‘audio and video’ as your recording type.

If you’re not ready to record right away, you can choose ‘continue set up studio’. This lets you set everything up in advance, including scheduling your studio for the decided date and inviting your guests ahead of time. 

Creating a new studio on Riverside for interview videos

Step 3: Click ‘Enter Studio’. This will take you to the Lobby where you can add your name and check your appearance. When you’re happy, click ‘Join Studio’

Checking equipment before recording an interview video on Riverside

Step 4: Invite your interview guest using the ‘copy link’ button in the right hand portion of your screen. Alternatively, invite them directly via email.

Recording an interview video on Riverside

Step 5: Wait for your guest to join. All they have to do is click the invite link you send them. This should take them automatically to the browser-based recording studio. If they have the Riverside app downloaded on their phone, they’ll be able to join from mobile. 

When everyone is ready, hit the red record button. 

Step 6: When you’ve wrapped things up, click the red ‘hang up’ button to ‘end session for all’. You can then look through your recording tracks and either head to the Riverside editor or download them to your computer. 

Dos and Don’ts of interview videos

Recording interviews can be stressful, especially if you’re talking to a big name. Here are a couple of dos and don’ts to keep in mind. 

Do record in a quiet environment 

Make sure you choose a quiet recording space. It’s a good idea to advise your guest to do the same. This will minimize the risk of being disturbed while recording and help you focus during your session. 

Do think about your recording background 

The last thing you want is a video interview background that's cluttered or distracting. It’s best to keep your background minimal and professional. If you’re a branded content creator, you could consider propping your backdrop with some branded goods or your logo. 

Do watch your guest’s previous interviews 

As part of your research, make sure to watch any previous interviews that your guest has done. Not only will this give you a better picture of who they are, but you’ll know what kinds of questions other interviews asked them and what’s already been covered. This should help you decide how to offer something new in your interview. 

Don’t interview in bad lighting 

Lighting can make or break your recording. Wherever possible, record somewhere with ample natural lighting. If you’ve got a more professional setup , you might have some artificial lighting to play with, which means you can work with more consistent (and reliable) light settings. A great idea is to try and use a 3-point lighting system.

Don’t expect the guest to know what they’re doing 

Without being patronizing, work on the assumption that your guest doesn’t know what they’re doing. Make sure to walk them through how the recording process will work and what you’d like from them. Try and answer any questions they have before the day to minimize delay when you want to start recording. 

Don’t rush 

Take your time. Make sure to book out a generous slot for your recording so that you have leeway if you need it. This also accounts for unforeseen technical (or other) issues that can take up some time. 

Don’t worry about mistakes 

And lasly, don’t sweat the mistakes or mishaps on the day. They’re totally natural. Try and take them in your stride. And remember, you can always edit them out during post-production. 

FAQs about Recording Interview Videos 

What is the best way to record remote interviews? 

Riverside offers everything you need to record a high-quality remote interview. It’s a browser-based recording software that automatically records each participant locally, so you don’t have to worry about bad internet affecting the quality of your recording. Crucially, the Riverside guest workflow is intuitive and straightforward meaning you can guarantee a really positive user experience. Try it now for free. 

How do I record a podcast online and interview guests remotely?  

Recording a podcast online is as easy, if not easier, than a traditional recording setup. Simply head to Riverside.fm, create a new studio, and then send the invite link to your guests. You’ll have a professional-quality remote podcast recorded in no time. 

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