Interviewing Techniques

THDL Toolbox > Audio-Video > Creation Of Audio-video > Interviewing Techniques


Contributor(s): Nelson Walker, David Germano.


Filming an interview is more than just filming someone answering questions. It requires a good interviewer, who understands the social aspects of interviewing and can make the interviewee feel at ease.

Select Interviewee

First find a suitable Interviewee. The best interviewees are passionate and articulate when they speak. If you get bored listening to someone, chances are the audience for you film will be bored too!

If it’s possible to do so, have the Interviewee sign an Appearance Release before you begin filming. If it’s not possible, do it after the interview. An Appearance Release gives you permission to use the footage you shoot.

Decide on your Questions

Generate a list of questions to ask. What information do you want viewers to learn from the person you have chosen? Try to think of open-ended questions rather than ones that produce yes or no answers.

Determine the Location

Think about where you will conduct the interview. How can the background communicate additional information about the person you are interviewing? Also take into account the proper lighting and sound that the place will allow.

Arrange to film your subject in the place you have chosen to conduct the interview.

Framing your Camera Angle

Position the person to achieve a shot that looks good to you. Make sure you can see the person’s face.

Other compositions include:

If you are shooting more than one interview in the same place, try to alternate where you place Interviewee in the frame, from left to right.

In addition to the interview itself, it can be useful to get other shots:

Setting up for Shooting

Starting Recording

Make sure your sound is clean.

You are now ready to begin filming. Ask your subject if he or she is ready. Press record on the camera. It should roll for a few seconds before you begin to speak.


Additional Footage

details. A good time to do this is between questions, or by asking some less important questions at the beginning or end.

mood, nature, and characters with wide-shots and detail shots.

a shopkeeper, you might want to get some observational footage of a transaction with a customer. It is helpful to think in terms of beats. You may want to capture him/her greeting a customer, helping with their items, money changing hands, and the customerʼs response. Get a variety of shot types (wide, medium, close).

Interviewer Guidance

Begin the interview. Feel free to use your list as a guide for the questions. Here are some pointers:

Concluding the Interview

Continue to roll at least 10 seconds after the interviewee answers the last question.

When you are finished with interview, thank your subject and replay the tape for him or her.

This page is provided courtesy of the external link: Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library.