How to prep for an on-camera interview

Whether you’re an industry expert, company representative, or just someone with an incredible story to tell, an on-camera interview is the best way to connect with an audience.

But getting in front of the camera for the first time can feel intimidating. Our team has conducted hundreds of interviews over the years with all types of people and have coached them on making a great first impression on camera.

Here’s our step to step guide to prepping for an interview like a pro.

Schedule a pre-interview

The best interviews feel like casual conversations between friends. And that’s why the best interviewers value building relationships with their subjects ahead of time. If you haven’t already, ask for a pre-interview to not only give you an idea of what to expect during the shoot, but also to allow you to get to know the interviewer a little better.

Woman seated at desk in front of desktop computer talking on cell phone with
hand on mouse.

Get over that phone phobia and schedule a quick call.

Be prepared, but don’t over do it!

An interview isn’t a pop quiz. It’s okay to ask for the questions ahead of time. You should feel comfortable and well-prepared going into the interview. But don’t take it too far! Memorizing exact answers to questions makes you appear stilted and robotic on-camera. So, familiarize yourself with the questions and jot down a few notes but don’t go too crazy.

Closeup of woman's hand holding a pen and writing in a

Write down a few notes and then chill out. You’ve got this!

Dress to impress

  • Avoid wearing anything with stripes, bold patterns, or a visible logo. Stay away from white and bright red (they don’t look great on camera).
  • Bring a few options with you to the interview.
  • Leave the formal wear at home. Wear something you feel comfortable and confident in.

A woman smiling while sitting for an on-camera

Don’t be afraid to be bold. Rock your interview look with fun accessories and an outfit that makes you feel confident.

Pack the ultimate interview toolkit

  • Oil absorbing sheets (reduces shininess on camera)
  • Cover up/foundation
  • Hair spray
  • A brush
  • A lint roller
  • A water bottle
  • Don’t forget your notes!

Brush, hair spray, and oil absorbing sheets on a

You might not have access to a professional hair and makeup team but this kit will make you feel like a million bucks on-camera.

Have fun with it!

No interview is going to be perfect. You might mess up an answer or get a little flustered at times, but that’s okay! Most interviewers will allow you to stop and restart an answer whenever you want. Keep in mind that everyone involved in the interview wants to help you give your best answer.

Cinematographer, producer and subject being interviewed on

Being interviewed on camera doesn't have to be painful!

Conducting a successful interview is a team effort and Civic Matters is here to help. Contact us if you have any questions about interviewing or if you’re ready to start your documentary project.


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