Skip to content

Why Video Interview Content Falls Short (And How to Fix It)

Think all video interviews go smoothly? Think again.

If interviews are part of your plan to capture exceptional, engaging video content, you’re counting on someone else to give you what you want. And that can be risky.

What’s the biggest challenge in any video interview?

Capturing content that is interesting, entertaining and believable. Not everyone is comfortable in front of a video camera.

As a former marketing video producer, I’ve interviewed more than 1,500 people on camera, and I’ve run into just about every interviewing problem you can imagine.

But one problem stopped me dead in my tracks – until I used one of the best interviewing secrets ever. So if you run into the same problem, here’s what you can do to keep your content from hitting a brick wall.

True story

It was a typical filming day. Interview after interview. I sat down with the last guest and asked her a question to warm up the conversation. She started talking. So far, so good.

20 seconds later – wham!

She stopped talking.

She F-R-O-Z-E.


I couldn’t say anything to get her talking again

I even asked off-topic questions to lighten things up a bit.

She started. She stopped. She started. She stopped.

We took a break, got some water and sat back down.

We started up. Again.

She froze. Again.

I was dripping buckets of sweat

I finally leaned toward her a little bit.

And this is what I told her:

I’m the guy editing your words and your story. I’m the one shaping the final product. You don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing. You can mess up as much as you want, because I’ll edit all that stuff out. I’ll keep only the gold.

I told her that the more she talked, the more editing options I’d have. And having more editing options would help me – and her – shape her message easily and effortlessly.

She let out a deep sigh of relief.

“Oh, I was wondering what would happen to my video”

The idea worked perfectly.

The camera rolled and off we went.

What did I do without even realizing it? I eliminated fear, nervousness and doubt. I created a comfort zone. She had been listening to her fearful inner voice –that critical internal editor, but now she was more comfortable speaking her mind.

But once you turn down the internal editor’s volume, getting a guest to have a conversation on camera is a piece of cake.

What should you tell your guests before every video interview?

  1. The more they speak, the more material you’ll have to work with.
  2. The less they speak, the harder it will be for you to shape and craft their story.
  3. What happens after the interview, who sees the interview, who edits it, etc.

In my example, after I told her I’d keep only the best material from her interview, my guest had the confidence to talk freely, without the fear of saying the “wrong” thing. Your guests (usually) don’t know who will see their interview or how their words and story will be edited. They’re super-conscious about saying the “right” things, thanks to their internal editors working overtime.

Video content is increasingly easier to create

As Flip cameras and mini-video recorders become ubiquitous, the desire (and demand) to capture and create video content will continue to rise.

And what’s the best part of capturing all this video content? It can easily be repurposed into other formats for wider distribution, like blog posts, special reports and podcasts. You can extend its appeal over multiple types of media.

But capturing engaging video content isn’t always easy. Watch out for challenges. And when possible, nip them in the bud.


Most people aren’t familiar with the video process, let alone appearing on camera. It’s only natural for your interviewee to crank up his or her internal editor, minimizing your chances of capturing the engaging content you hoped you would hear.


  1. Put yourself in your guest’s shoes.
  2. Help quiet your guest’s internal editor.
  3. Create a comfort zone.

Back to you

This is one of my favorite interviewing techniques, but you’ve probably used many others.

What are your favorite interviewing techniques?

Have you run into any challenging video interviewing situations? If so, how did you overcome them?

What great tips and ideas do you have?