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How to make good video interviews

For a long time, it has been customary that the mediation of experiences in the form of an interview has been in written form. Today, however, almost all of us have a capable camera on our phones. Because making videos is so handy and easy, we can ask the person to tell their own story. A person's facial expressions, body language and tone of voice add value and provide additional information to a video-mediated story of the experience.

Making good video interviews with a mobile phone or during a video meeting requires careful preparation and attention to several key factors.
Here are some tips to help you create and capture high-quality video interviews using a mobile phone or during a Zoom or Teams meeting:

Plan ahead: Before the interview, determine the purpose, structure, and questions you want to ask. Prepare an outline or script to guide the conversation and ensure you cover all the necessary points.
Choose a suitable location: Find a quiet, well-lit space for the interview. Avoid distracting backgrounds and minimize background noise. If using a mobile phone, stabilize it using a tripod or a steady surface.
Lighting: Good lighting is essential for a clear and visually appealing video. Position yourself or the interviewee facing a window or a well-lit area to ensure even lighting on the face. Avoid strong backlighting, as it can make the subject appear dark.
Framing and composition: Frame the shot properly by positioning the subject in the center or slightly off-center. Use the rule of thirds, where the subject's eyes align with the upper third line of the frame. Maintain a comfortable distance, capturing the head and shoulders or midsection.
Camera position: Keep the camera at eye level or slightly above for a flattering angle. This can be achieved by propping up the phone or adjusting your computer's webcam accordingly. Avoid holding the phone too close or too far away.
Audio quality: Clear audio is crucial for effective interviews. Use an external microphone whenever possible to improve sound quality. If using a mobile phone, consider using a lavalier microphone or a headset with a built-in microphone. In Zoom, use a good quality USB microphone or headset.
Test equipment and settings: Prior to the interview, test your equipment, including your camera, microphone, and internet connection. Check the video and audio quality, and adjust settings if necessary. Ensure you have a stable internet connection for uninterrupted communication during a Zoom interview.
Dress appropriately: Dress professionally, considering the context and purpose of the interview. Solid, neutral colors work well on camera. Avoid busy patterns, reflective clothing, or accessories that could cause distractions.
Engage with the interviewee: Maintain eye contact by looking directly into the camera lens. Actively listen, respond, and show interest during the conversation. Non-verbal cues, such as nodding or smiling, can help build rapport even in a virtual setting.
Edit and enhance: After the interview, review the footage or recording. If needed, edit out any mistakes, pauses, or irrelevant sections to create a concise and engaging video. You can use video editing software or apps for this purpose.

The Balance team methodology for shooting the videos is transferable and we have produced also a short guide on the slides How to make video interviews. Download the Guide below!

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Call for Case studies for the Library of Experiences
The Library of Experiences of the Balance project is a collaborative online space especially for women affected by the pandemic, where they can share their work-life balance related stories and needs. If you would like to get involved or want to find out some more information you can access the case study template HERE.