Interview

A recorded discussion.

Introduction

A video-recorded interview with an expert is one of the most popular video formats for educators venturing beyond traditional directed-instruction styles of video making. Interviews can be structured or unstructured, studio or location based, formal or casual, two or three handed, and can also be used in conjunction with other video styles. Recorded interviews are also often edited to extract ‘soundbites’ or ‘talking heads’ – self-contained verbal answers, delivered to an unseen interviewer just off screen.

Example

Interview example

What the research says

The ‘interview with subject matter expert’ is most familiar in the educational context, and there is evidence to suggest that dialogue can be a more effective mode of delivery than straight monologue (Muller, Bewes, Sharma, & Reimann, 2007). However, there is also evidence to suggest that discussion between two experts is not necessarily the most effective dynamic when staging a discussion – by including a novice in the discussion, interviews can become more effective in identifying and confronting misconceptions (Muller, Sharma, Eklund, & Reimann, 2007).

Production tips

  • Be prepared, but not over prepared. Interviews that sound overly ‘scripted’ can lose the sense of true dialogue that makes interviews effective in the first place.
  • Conducting an engaging interview is a skill that takes time to develop. Active listening, managing talk time, moving the conversation along, diverting and returning to the main thread of conversation are all techniques that come into play.
  • The simplest interview videos can be created by recording an online video call using common conferencing software like Zoom or Skype. Always record a test clip first and make sure all participants are using a good microphone.
  • Single camera interviews can be produced using a phone or tablet device, but an external microphone will probably be needed to capture acceptable audio.
  • When recording an interview for soundbites, vox-pops or talking head content, ask the interviewee to incorporate the question into their answer to produce a ‘self-contained’ soundbite.
  • The interviews we see on TV are usually heavily edited – think about how you are going to present your recorded material before you record. Editors are expert at juxtaposing differing soundbites to create a sense of dialogue, narrative or conflict.
  • Interviews are often not very ‘visual’ – would an audio interview be more suitable?

Further resources

How to locally record video or audio conversations using Zoom

Tips to improve your interview footage when filming with a phone

Further reading

Muller, D. A., Bewes, J., Sharma, M. D., & Reimann, P. (2007). Saying the wrong thing: improving learning with multimedia by including misconceptions. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 24(2), 144–155.

Muller, Derek A., Sharma, M. D., Eklund, J., & Reimann, P. (2007). Conceptual change through vicarious learning in an authentic physics setting. Instructional Science, 35(6), 519–533.

This page was last updated on 16 Oct 2018.

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