Have you ever watched a video interview and been completely distracted by people passing in the background? Maybe a strange, colorful object behind the interviewee caught your eye, reminding you that your boss’s birthday is coming up and you still haven’t thought of a nice gift?
You’ve already zoned out, and before you know it, you’ve missed half of the interview you were supposed to be watching. All because of that pesky distraction in the background. So you rewind and start rewatching. Or, more likely, you go on to the next video lined up in your social media feed.
Sounds familiar? We’ve all been there. That’s why it’s so important to have the right background setup for your corporate interview. Nothing should distract your audience’s attention from the speaker and the message of your video.
Plus, having a background that matches your interview's key message helps your brand develop the right image in the viewer's mind.
This post will guide you through the different types of video background you can use for your next interview, along with some examples and best practices. After reading, you’ll be equipped to set up a background that gives your video a professional polish, reinforces brand recall, and drives your message home.
3 types of interview videos you can create to reach your marketing goals
Video interviews are one of the most popular and engaging content formats. Audiences love getting the inside scoop from employees at their favorite brands, hearing about a CEO’s vision for their company, or what customers have to say about particular products.
Through a simple Q&A with an interviewee, brands and organizations can put their employees, customers, or industry experts in the spotlight to deliver messages to their audiences.
And it’s not only audiences that love video interviews. From your company website, to landing pages and social media — video interviews can be used across a variety of platforms to reach audiences far and wide, and achieve many marketing objectives.
Here are three types of interview videos you can easily create, share with your audience, and get your message across.
- Customer interview videos: Want to give your sales pitch some credibility and authenticity? Video interviews with customers allow you to show appreciation for their loyalty, while building trust with prospective buyers. Drive new leads by filming a satisfied customer answering questions about your product or service!
- CEO interview videos: 70% of consumers feel more connected to brands with CEOs that are active on social media. Get your company CEO on camera to share their expertise, personality, and insider knowledge of your brand. Host this interview on your website homepage, or even live stream it on social media to add authenticity and increase engagement. Real-time marketing can increase conversion rates by 26%.
- Employee interview videos: People love video content with personality and a human touch. So why not film your employees for a video interview? This digestible, fun format gives you a wide range of communication and marketing opportunities. Celebrate employee achievement, promote your company culture, share insights from projects, and create a strong sense of community at the workplace.
Now that you have an idea of the video interviews you can create, let’s explore why a quality background is so important — and the different options at your disposal.
💡 PlayPlay Pro Tip
You have no quality visuals left for your corporate video and your budget is tight? There are many options to get stunning footage at low cost or even for free. Check out the post on how to find royalty-free images!
The right video interview background boosts your brand image and reinforces your message
A well-prepared background is an essential element of any high-performing video interview. Audiences expect quality content from their favorite brands, and choosing the right background is one the simplest ways to make your videos look more professional. Why is a high-quality video background so important?
- A professional background sets the tone of your video storytelling. Let’s say you’re interviewing the brand CEO about the charitable organization they support. It’s a serious topic and needs to be told in a way that evokes an emotional reaction from your audience. You don’t want anything to detract from the seriousness of your speaker’s message, and a well-prepared background will immerse the viewer into the subject of the interview.
Whether you go for a neutral, solid color background or add branding elements like yours and a partner organization’s logo, make sure your background matches the tone of your interview topic.
- Your video interview background reflects your brand identity. A home background lets you showcase some of your personality and invites the audience to connect with you on a personal level. A colorful background that pops will convey curiosity and innovation, letting viewers get a sense of your personality. Filming in your office can communicate a sense of authenticity, spontaneity and openness (just let your colleagues know in advance so they can tidy their desks!)
Regardless of whether you go for an artificial set up or a more natural one, your background choice will make an impression on your audience.
- An effective background doesn’t distract from your interviewee. A background is like an accessory — it amps up the video quality but doesn’t overshadow it. The main point of focus of the video is the person being interviewed, so the background should never distract attention away from them. Keep your audience focused on the speaker and get your message across!
However you choose to style your background, a little planning and preparation makes your video look far more professional. This will reflect well on your brand image, keep your audience focused on the interview, and reinforce your overall message.
4 tactics to set up an excellent video interview background
So now you know why a well-chosen video background is essential for your interview. But what are your options? And how do you set them up?
1. Use a green screen background to animate your interview
Instead of spending precious time and resources searching for the ideal location to shoot your video interview, you can use a green screen. In post production, you can remove the green screen and make different images, videos, or other media to appear behind your speaker. Whether you’re illustrating your interview with a nice scenic backdrop, or boosting brand recall with animated logos — a green screen gives you a variety of virtual backgrounds to fit every interview.
There are several options for getting the best out of green screens in your interview videos.
- Rent a green screen studio: To get the best results for your high-profile video interviews, consider using a studio. Are you creating a company CEO interview that you’ll share on your website, social media, and blog? Then it could be worth paying more to get a fully professional effect for your background.
- Buy an affordable green screen kit: If you’re new to green screen, it’s a good idea to buy a simple set to get started. Used by many Youtube creators all over the world, these affordable, easy-to-use kits come at around $50-100 and will give your video background a more professional finish. Just make sure the fabric is fully stretched out (leaving no shadows), as this will make life easier during post-production editing.
- Do it yourself: If you have a spare wall in your office or work space, why not paint it green to achieve the same green screen effect? A great option if you’re on a tight budget… just make sure to ask your office manager first! You can also try placing a stand behind your interviewee and hanging a long piece of green fabric from it. High-quality results are not guaranteed, however, and the DIY method should only be used for lower-profile content.
A green screen background can help you shape the tone of your video interview. But remember, it should remain subtle, match the theme, and never distract from the interview itself. In post production, you can use video editing software to replace the green screen with your preferred images or video clips.
If you want to use stock imagery for your green screen background, check out these websites:
2. Use a blurred out effect to remove distractions
A great way to bring focus to your interviewee is by using a blurred out effect, also known as ‘bokeh effect,’ on your background.
This effect allows you to achieve a natural and authentic setup for your interview, without drawing attention to objects in the background. Your speaker is brought into sharp focus, drawing the audience’s eye and making them more receptive to your message.
The blurred out effect is also ideal for remote video interviews. It can be far more practical to interview guests over a video call saving time and costs. Naturally, many interviewees will tune in from their home office for a zoom interview. The blurred out effect will make the interview appear more professional, and your audience won’t be distracted by the book titles on your guests’ bookshelves!
Many video conferencing tools have the blurred out effect built-in as a background option. If not, there are several video editing apps that allow you to add it in the editing stage:
Choose a location that reflects the video interview’s theme
Your video background sets the scene for your interview, and you should choose a location or arrange a backdrop accordingly.
Say you’re interviewing an employee about their experience of working from home. Good news, your company has an attractive remote-work policy, and you want to promote it to boost your employer branding and hire new talent.
In this case, filming your employee in their home workspace would be ideal. While this setup should look as natural as possible, a little prep is still required:
- Make sure the workspace is tidy and well organized
- Display all the equipment that your company provides as part of the remote-work package, including some light branding
- Feature neutral objects in the background, such as a plant or small family photo (with the interviewee’s permission, of course) to emphasize the comfort of working from home.
The ‘mise-en-scène’ of your interview can bring the discussion to life, provide more context for the audience, and help you to deliver your video message with greater impact. Of course, the golden rule still applies: the background should never distract from the interview itself.
4. Use good lighting to bring the interviewee into focus
While good lighting is an essential part of any video, it's even more so when you’re shooting an interview video. You want to make sure the interviewee is the main focus and clearly visible for the audience. Good interview lighting will make your interviewee look authentic, relatable, and trustworthy. The result? Your audience is far more likely to pay attention to what they’re saying, rather than looking at the odd shadows on their face.
So how do you go about creating the perfect lighting setup for your interview video?
- Test different locations for natural light: In an office space, you’ll probably have a variety of light sources you can make the most of. The lighting on the interviewee’s face must be well balanced wherever you film. This involves adjusting the position of your interviewee to avoid intense lights or creating shadows on their face. Whether you’re filming indoors or outside, always test to see how it looks on camera before recording!
- Experiment with 3-point lightning: 3-point lighting refers to having a key light (main light source), a fill light (to fill the shadows created by key light) and a back light (a light source that comes from behind your video subject) This is the standard setup for most professional-quality video interviews.
Making the most of natural light is a handy, cost-effective option. But it won’t always deliver the best results. A 3-point lighting setup is ideal for video interviews as you can adjust the lighting exactly to your needs. While a video lighting kit will add a little to your costs, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment for creating high-quality video interviews.
4 tips to make sure your video interview turns out pixel-perfect
Now you know how to set up a high-quality video background for your next interview, depending on your goals.. But don’t stop there! Here are some extra tips to make your video look even more professional. Get your message across in style and make a lasting impression on your audience.
1. Prepare the script / questions before filming
Preparing a script will allow you to structure the interview, keep it on-topic, and help your speaker feel more comfortable. After all, not everyone is comfortable on camera!
Give your speaker a rough idea of the interview questions or themes you’ll be covering. This way, they’ll have a concrete idea of what they want to say. However, while preparing the script, allow for spontaneity. You don’t want the interview to look overly scripted. Authenticity is key if you want your viewers to stay engaged with the video and keep watching.
2. Set up the right technical gear (for audio and video)
From microphones to tripods, make sure you have all the essentials required to shoot the video. Having the right technical gear at your disposal (and checking if it’s in working condition) prior to shooting the video will spare you complications on the day.
Here’s a checklist of the essential video equipment for shooting a high-quality video interview.
- Camera: These days, you can shoot HD videos on most smartphone cameras and these will do the trick for many interviews. If you want to use a professional camera, there’s a learning curve involved. So make sure you know exactly how to use one before shooting.
- Microphone: Good audio can be a gamechanger for your video. After all, would you pay attention to an interview where you can barely hear the speaker? Probably not. One of the most popular microphones is Røde SmartLav+ Lavalier Microphone, and is what we’d call a ‘sound’ investment!
- Tripod: Stable recording is essential, and a tripod is your most cost-effective option to achieve this. Depending on whether you’re using a smartphone to shoot your video or a professional camera, there are a variety of affordable tripod options to choose from.
- Lights: Light, as we’ve discussed before, is a critical element of a professional looking video. If you don’t have enough natural light to shoot in, consider investing in a 3-point lighting setup.
3. Try different camera positions to make the video more dynamic
There are a variety of camera positions you can experiment with to make your final video more dynamic and engaging to watch.
Some basic camera angles include:
- Close up: As the name suggests, this is when you shoot a closeup of your video subject to capture sharp details. This works great when your interviewee is telling a particularly moving story or an important fact.
- Medium shot: This is shot at a medium distance from the subject. When you have multiple subjects in the video, it gives the viewers a clear look at all of them — also showing their body language.
- Long shot: This camera shot shows the full length of the subject, the background and everything in between. It’s a good idea to start your video with a long shot, to set the scene, and end with it as well.
4. Set up a dress code that matches your interviewee with your brand image
To establish consistent branding and make sure the colors of your interviewee’s clothing don’t clash with the background, set up a dress code beforehand. Clothes and accessories have the power to set the mood as well, so choose the right clothes according to the vibe you’re going for.
Shooting a fun and playful video interview?
Go for an informal dress.
Shooting a serious video?
Formal attire works best.
Whatever your dress code, try to avoid intricate patterns, as these can look strange on camera and be a real distraction for your audience.
Stand out with quality video backgrounds
Equipped with these tips and ideas, you and your team will be able to make stand-out videos in-house more easily. From green screen and branded animations, to the blurred out effect and filming in the great outdoors… there are a wide range of simple background options for your next interview.
Knowing how to choose the right video background will make your interviews look far more professional. As a result, you will communicate a strong brand image to your audience, get your message across effectively, and stand out from the competition.
And to put the video together, an intuitive video creation platform like PlayPlay is the ideal solution for in-house teams. Create high-quality videos rapidly, in-house, and at low cost. It’s that simple. Give PlayPlay a try today, for free!