Talking head interviews are a key component to marketing, testimonial, television, documentary, and corporate videos. A story is gathered through questions asked to employees or customers. Then through the post production (video editing) part of the project, the story is cut up to create the message you are trying to achieve.

The main success to a good interview video is a natural conversation with the subject. Keeping the setup small, and the space comfortable creates an inviting environment for the subject. Anyone who doesn’t need to be in the room should step out to avoid being a distraction. And if they’re other people in the room, don’t let them stare at the talent behind the camera. It makes people more nervous. You probably wouldn’t like a bunch of people staring at you even if you were not behind the camera. When interviewing the subject, let them do most of the talking, and only ask questions to guide the interview.

Make sure to avoid close-ended questions—close-ended questions typically generate “yes” or “no” as an answer. Focus on questions that have a “why” or “how” in them, these are generally open-ended questions. By doing this, you’ll get meaningful responses. This is key to creating a powerful story. Also a very important thing to know is that you need to have the interviewee add the questions into their answers because you will not here the interviewer, in most cases, on the final video. Example;
What is your name?
My name is John Anderson

Knowing what questions to start with can be difficult. To make it easy, we put together a list of some of the questions we ask when filming testimonial and corporate videos.

Marketing, Recruitment and Corporate Questions

With recruitment and corporate, marketing videos, try to get the subject to open up about their passion for the field. Start the interview with basic questions about the job, and then ask more in-depth questions as the interview continues. You want to warm your talent up a bit before diving in deep with tough questions.

  • 1. What is your title and the responsibilities of your job?
  • 2. Can you describe what a typical work day looks like for you?
  • 3. Why did you choose to go into the (healthcare, manufacturing, customer service, etc.) field?
  • 4. What would tell a friend if they were considering working here?
  • 5. Can you tell me a time where you or your crew went above and beyond for a client?
  • 6. At the end of the day, what makes you happy working here?
  • 7. What is a benefit of working here that not many people know about?
  • 8. What is your “why”?
  • 9. What have you learned at your job… and how have you grown as a person?
  • 10. Any funny moments or stories with co-workers that you could share?
  • 11. Describe the team of people that work here?

Product Marketing Testimonial Questions

Product Marketing 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.

  • 1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself… and what you or your company does?
  • 2. Can you describe the product you have been using?
  • 3. What problems was your business having before using the product?
  • 4. How has the product been a solution to your problem?
  • 5. How has the product saved your business time or money?
  • 6. Why did you choose the product over other competitors?
  • 7. How has the product removed stress or frustration in your work?
  • 8. Would you recommend to someone looking for a similar product?
  • 9. What could you tell that person watching this video that is thinking about buying your product?

Patient Testimonial Questions

Patient story videos 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.

  • 1. Can you tell me about yourself… what is your story?
  • 2. Any hobbies or activities you enjoy?
  • 3. How long have you been dealing with [medical problem]?
  • 4. How did [medical problem] affect the way of your life?
  • 5. Did you think this is the new ‘normal’ for you?
  • 6. Can you walk me through the treatment process from start to finish?
  • 7. Did you have any doubts about the treatment before starting?
  • 8. How are you feeling now?
  • 9. Can you describe the care you received from the staff?
  • 10. Are you back to your to regular activities now?
  • 11. What are you looking forward to doing that you couldn’t do before?
  • 12. 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 questions based on their responses. Try to engage into the “why” or “how” of their thoughts. We recommend that you do not print out the questions, but just take note of your list mentally. It 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. Let them know that they will see the video prior to it being used. People are often nervous, and we find that this eases some of their nerves.

End the interview asking them if they have anything else they would like to say. Also, keep the camera rolling for a minute or two after because sometimes you can pick up a couple of extra sound bites. Sometimes the subject will continue talking after the interview is finished. This is not uncommon as the interviewee is more comfortable at the end.

Often times, the best moments will come from the very end of the interview!

Do you need help producing corporate or testimonial marketing videos? If so, we invite you to take a look at our website. We are a video production company located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We work with brands and businesses to create videos that motivate consumers.