Being in front of the camera can be intimidating. This is one of the reasons I chose to become a filmmaker - to stay behind the camera. However, we all, at some point or another, find ourselves on the other side of a 50mm lens. More often than not, this situation occurs due to an interview.
At first glance, it can be incredibly nerve-racking. Interviewees walk into a space with multiple lenses pointed at them, a microphone directly overhead, and large-scale lighting equipment surrounding them on all sides. I get it. It's not your typical met-a-friend-for-lunch-conversation setting, and it can cause anyone to feel overwhelmed or self-conscious.
One of the great perks of my job is learning how to minimize much of the production noise that slowly grows louder inside a subject's head. Here are some good reminders for the next time you find yourself in an interview setting:
1. Get engaged in the conversation before the cameras roll. Your interviewer should naturally chat with you beforehand, off topic, to get the conversation flowing. Use this time to your benefit, and allow yourself the freedom to have a one-on-one with another person.
2. Make eye contact with your interviewer. Make a connection with the person, not the camera. There are not 100 people watching you interview in this moment: It is only you, the interviewer and a camera operator. Eye contact with your interviewer will help keep this reality in perspective when anxieties arise.
3. Remember, it's just a conversation. When all is said and done, an interview is simply a conversation with another person. Someone you are likely meeting for the first time is asking you questions about yourself, your job, your co-workers, your life, etc. Think about how you would normally handle such a conversation and allow that to be who you are in the interview.
Your answers don't have to be perfectly worded. You don't have to know all the answers. All you have to be is you. Now that's a load off, if you ask me!