Tips for Editing an Interview

Article 4 min
Review these video editing techniques to help you create a stunning final interview product.

There are several editing techniques you can use to turn an average interview into an amazing interview. Just the same, there are mistakes you can make that will turn extraordinary into unusable. Remember, an interview is conducted for four reasons: enhance the visuals, provide supplemental information, supply critical details and compensate for stories not covered thoroughly.

Use the following guidelines and tips to create a final product that supports the commander's intent and is appealing to you, your interviewee and the audience.

Discover content by selecting individual tiles, or using the buttons across the top.



Watch where you place cuts. You want your interview to sound natural.

  • If you cut in the middle of a sentence, make sure the cut sounds natural and does not leave the audience hanging.
  • Ensure that you don't clip off the beginning or end of words in the timeline.

Keep this in mind while conducting your interview as well. If your interviewee talks too fast, the words may string together, making the editing process much more challenging. Consider this ahead of time and politely ask them to slow down. Once you begin to edit, you only are able to work with what you have, so make sure you're working with good material.


You want your interview to flow at a natural pace.

  • Allow for natural pauses during the interview.
  • If you’re making a three minute project, do not focus only on the interviewee for the entire three minutes.
  • Be deliberate in constructing your interview pacing.
  • Let the interviewee take breaks to breathe and gather their thoughts.
  • Leave space between soundbites to allow the viewer to take in the information they just heard.

Sound Clips

Enhance your interview with sound. Use sound clips throughout the piece to connect your audience to the story.

  • Make sure the sound clips can be heard. For example, suppose you are conducting an interview regarding weapons testing and have footage showing the explosion coming out of a weapon, but you can't hear it. In that case, that shot is essentially useless, unless you use a sound clip of the explosion.
  • Ensure your interviewee does not compete with any necessary audio.
  • Add transitions, like constant gain or power, to the start and end of interviewee's sound bites to prevent audio pops in your final piece.


Use b-roll, or supplementary footage, to support your story.

  • Choose b-roll footage that is fitting to your topic. For example, it would be impractical to have b-roll of a person scrubbing their vehicle if your interview is about a dining facility.
  • If you can't match your b-roll exactly, be creative on what shots would match your interview. For example, if you're doing an interview on a World War II veteran and he's describing his accounts of the attack on Pearl Harbor, you won't be able to have any new footage to support his memories. You will need to choose footage that at least relates to and supports the topic.

Remember, you can never have too much b-roll. You need to capture a wide selection of b-roll when shooting your interview. On the day of the interview, shoot whatever might be related and shoot it from multiple angles.

The more footage you have, the more you can work with when you get to the editing room. Oftentimes, you will not have the opportunity to go back and reshoot something you may have missed.


Do not show the interviewee too many times. Regardless of how attractive your interviewee is, your audience does not want to watch the person talking the whole time. They want to watch the story.

  • Use the interviewee to enhance the visuals and make a point when supplying critical information.
  • Use b-roll to avoid the need to revert back to the interview frequently to fill in your timeline gaps.
  • If the b-roll action is supportive and interactive, allow a break in the interview for a few moments.


Provide visual cues to help your audience follow your interview by using titles and fades.

  • In your video sequence, fade from black at the beginning and fade to black at the end.
  • Use a title for your subject the first time you show them on screen. The title should be on-screen long enough to be read twice.
  • Do not use red in your title's font or background as it can be harsh and distracting.
  • Use a font that is easy to read and not distracting.

Discover More You May Like

View All Articles