How to Hire an In-House Videographer: Selecting and Interviewing the Best Candidate
As we continue to experience this massive shift in marketing content, meaning the necessity of every company becoming a media company, we need to be able to find the best creative talent we can.
Marketing departments all over the world are hitting the job market in search of the best and brightest video creatives. Many will find talented professionals that are a good fit at their company, others will realize they had no idea how to hire for the position and frustrations will grow.
Maybe we can save you this hassle.
At The Sales Lion, we assist many of our clients in their search for a videographer who is a good fit within their organization. With the addition of a content manager, these two positions should create powerful video content that drives results.
In an interview situation, what should you ask, what should they demonstrate, and how will you know you’ve found a good candidate?
We’ll outline some of the personal traits they should have, identifying creative “street cred”, what to ask in an interview and even a special task that will help you find the perfect candidate.
Identifying Personality Traits of a Videographer
Later in this article, we’ll explain a task that you’ll be giving the candidate which will show their creative side in a video. For now, let’s focus on personal traits.
As the videographer, the person in this position is the visual storyteller of the company. They need to be a GREAT fit within the culture of your business. They will have frequent contact with employees within the organization, and in certain scenarios will have to give and receive criticism to develop the best content. Somebody who is awkward, overly introverted, or doesn’t “jive” well with the culture just won’t fit.
Ask questions that let you get to know the type of person they are. Personality traits you should be looking for are as follows:
- They are able to work with a team or on their own
- They own the production process and do what it takes to make great content
- They are self-starting and treat the brand as if it were theirs
- They deal well with criticism and are able to collect feedback easily
- They have great communication skills and are able to interview and make people comfortable
- They are energetic and able to excite people to be on camera
- They look at the content from the eye of the viewer to create the best experience
- They are a lifelong learner and able to identify new learning opportunities
More often than not, somebody who is fun and energetic is going to be a great candidate for this role. Many people within your organization might not particularly enjoy being in front of a camera. This means your videographer will need to know how to focus a person, not just a camera.
What A Good Candidate Should Demonstrate
A common question we get is: “should our candidate have a degree in video production or something comparable?” It’s a great sign if they have a degree, as it shows a level of discipline, and you’ll know they’ve had some formal training. Yet, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker if they don’t. In the end, this is a creative position. Instead, focus on practical skills they can demonstrate and abilities specific to the position.
Potential Fields of Study
- Video Production
- Graphic Design
- Proficient with Video Editing Software (Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro)
- Experience with Adobe After Effects or Motion are preferred
- Experience with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are a plus
- Can conduct research and purchase needed equipment
- Can operate and maintain proper levels and calibration of cameras, audio and video recorders, and other production equipment
- Embraces new technology (like AR, VR, etc.) as it develops
- Proficient at storyboarding, scripting, and concepting
- Understands basic and advanced composition techniques
- Understands the fundamentals of branding
- Very detail oriented and able to identify quality issues in audio and video
- Understands the basics of Social Media and Video Hosting Platforms
- Has a YouTube, Instagram, or Vimeo Channel
- Has a Personal Website with a Portfolio
These are just some ideas of how to gauge experience and skill level. Not all videographers are going to meet all of these criteria. One important thing to remember: your candidate must display traits that lend themselves to business storytelling and not just cinematic knowledge.
Extra Interview Questions For Your Videographer Candidates
- What’s your favorite part of video editing? What is your least favorite?
- Where (what website) do you use to learn and improve your skills?
- What don’t you like about the video production process?
- What are the most important steps in pre-production?
- Tell me about a time when your footage didn’t turn out as you had hoped. What did you learn? How did you fix it?
- Who are some of your favorite videographers, channels, or influencers?
- What makes a perfect visual story?
- What videos have you seen online that were poorly done?
- When you see someone doing something wrong on camera, how do you generally offer feedback? Examples?
- How do you deal with someone who doesn’t feel comfortable on camera?
- What’s the toughest feedback/criticism you’ve ever received for some of your work? Was it valid?
- What makes a business video different from, say, a short film?
- From what you know about our company so far, what’s an important element of telling our story?
- What do you feel is the most important videos our company could shoot right now?
A Simple Video Assignment For The Interview Process
Have you ever seen this Video Resume made by a guy applying at Google? It’s funny, well-made, and the story plays out very well. This was an example of really going above and beyond in 2011.
Spoiler Alert: He didn’t get hired by Google. (Which is a shame because I was really pulling for him) Anyhow….
Nowadays, this is a pretty standard video. A videographer with even the most basic of skills could replicate something very similar.
Either at the beginning of the process or at the end, this is a good addition to your search for a videographer.
Use this as a simple template:
- Have them make a video explaining why they want the job
This will give you an idea of how good they are at telling a story. Also, how they present themselves could give you an idea of how well they understand your brand.
- Give a certain timeframe to complete the video (2 days)
This shows how well they do under a time constraint, how fast they are able to turnaround content, and how creative they can be under pressure.
- Have them develop a script or storyboard to accompany the video
This shows their creative process beyond the cameras and lights. Many times this is what they’ll be presenting when they start a new project. How prepared can they be?
- Allow them to be creative, and think outside the scope of a Traditional Marketing video
Let them know that they are free to tell the story as they wish to tell it, so be creative and have fun with it.
Once you’ve received their video, use the criteria from earlier in this article to gauge their skill levels, personality, and creativity. Did they do the bare minimum or go above and beyond? Did they seem to struggle to complete the task or did they push their boundaries?
Next Steps to Finding Your Next Visual Storyteller
At The Sales Lion, we’ve used these very criteria to help align some of the best video marketing talent with organizations who have fully embraced becoming a media company. Use your own judgment and apply these specifically to your industry to make sure you find the best possible fit. Trust us, choosing carefully will save you a world of hassle and frustration.
If you would like, use our sample videographer job description template to get started.
As always, please reach out to us if we can be of any assistance.
Have anything to add? Let us know in the comment section and maybe we’ll add it to the article.