In a previous article, I provided some advice and tips about avoiding classic on-camera interview mistakes. One of them had to do with prepping an interview subject.
Some content marketers feel compelled to send questions to an interview subject beforehand, especially when that person is asking for them. They think it’s the right thing to do.
But as much as you want to do it, let me reassure you that you should never send questions before conducting an on-camera interview.
The rationale boils down to three basic principles:
- An on-camera interview is not just about the words a person says, but how they say them. (Click to tweet.)
- If you send questions before an on-camera interview, you will miss the opportunity to capture a genuine emotional response. (Click to tweet.)
- Triggering emotion is what gets people to share content online. (Click to tweet.)
Once you send the questions, you’ve just ruined that opportunity for an on-camera emotional response. It’s gone. You’re never going to get it back.
Nobody thinks sending the questions beforehand will hurt. The person sending the questions thinks it’s the best way to “prepare,” but it can truly ruin the video.
The person sending the questions is not the person producing the video. As a producer, it’s frustrating to look at footage of an interview of completely rehearsed and passionless answers. The transcript of the video may have all the right words, but when presented in video sans emotion, the interview can fall flat.
When interview subjects prepare too much, they simply don’t have the opportunity to give emotional responses.
Watch this episode of Content Marketing Tips, and you’ll see an example of an interview that has such intense emotional responses that the words barely matter. How each person responds says everything. I have no doubt that the producer never would have gotten those visceral responses if the questions were sent out in advance.
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