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Hiring a Videographer

Chapter 2
Hiring a Videographer

Marketing departments all over the world are hitting the job market in search of the best and brightest video creatives and, as we hinted in the last chapter, there’s good reason for this.

Why you need a videographer

To truly see success with video in your marketing and sales, you need an expert whose sole goal is making sure it not only gets done, but gets done right.

When you have a dedicated professional owning and championing your video strategy, there are no excuses to push execution onto the back burner.

At IMPACT, we assist many of our clients in their search for a videographer. In this chapter, we’ll discuss:

  • What skills a candidate should demonstrate.
  • What to ask in an interview.
  • How to include an activity in your hiring process.

What skills to look for in a videographer

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 of their formal education, focus on the practical skills they can demonstrate and abilities specific to the position.

Here are some common things we look for to help you get started:

Potential fields of study

  • Journalism
  • Video production
  • Graphic design
  • Photography
  • Marketing

Technical skills

  • Proficient with video editing software (Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro are the most common).
  • Experience with Adobe After Effects or Motion is preferred.
  • Experience with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator is a plus.
  • Experience with social media video (i.e., Instagram Reels, TikTok, Facebook Live, YouTube) is 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.
  • Understands the importance of tracking video marketing metrics.

Creative skills

  • Proficient at storyboarding, scripting, and concepting.
  • Understands basic and advanced composition techniques.
  • Understands the fundamentals of branding (this person will create motion graphics and other visual elements that need to play well with your brand).
  • Very detail-oriented and able to identify quality issues in audio and video.
  • Understands the basics of social media and video hosting.

Video portfolio

  • 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: The person who fills your videographer position will be the visual storyteller of the company. Your candidate must display traits that lend themselves to business storytelling and not just cinematic knowledge.

They’ll also be in charge of bringing out the best in your subject matter experts and on-camera talent. This means having frequent contact with employees within the organization, and in certain scenarios, giving and receiving criticism to develop the best content possible.

Somebody who is uncomfortable with feedback or overly introverted just won’t fit.

It’s also important to look for a strong desire for personal growth within your videographer candidate and an ability to take feedback well. They should always be trying to better themselves and advance your video. This could also mean learning about new technologies and workflows.

With all of this in mind, personality traits you should be looking for include:

  • The ability to work with a team or on their own.
  • Self-starting and treating the brand as if it were their own.
  • Comfort with criticism and the ability to receive feedback easily.
  • Great communication skills.
  • Strong interview skills and the ability to make people feel comfortable.
  • Energetic and able to excite people about being on camera.
  • Lifelong learner and eager to identify new learning opportunities.

Interview questions for your videographer candidates

If your candidates have already passed the culture fit screening, have demonstrated their technical and creative skills, and have a stellar video portfolio, you’re on track.

Here are a few more interview questions you can ask your candidates to continue to vet them and get some valuable insights into how they are as a videographer, as well as how successful they’ll be at your company:

  • What’s your favorite part of video editing? What is your least favorite?
  • Where (what website) do you go 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? Can you provide 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 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 are the most important videos our company could shoot right now?

As you can see by these questions, it’s important that you find out how knowledgeable they are, how well they receive feedback, and if they’re up for the challenge of making amazing videos for your organization.

Once we’ve vetted our candidates with these specific interview questions, it’s time for the practical challenge.

A simple video assignment for the interview process

What videographer interview would be complete without actually seeing what the candidate is capable of?

That’s where the practical video assignment comes in. By this point, your candidate has probably “talked the talk” during the interview process. Now you need to see if they can “walk the walk” by actually creating a video.

This assignment not only shows you the candidate’s video skills, but will also tell you a lot about their time management, creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Here’s exactly what we ask videographer candidates to do here at IMPACT:

“I’d like you to submit a 2-3 minute video similar to the educational style and tone of this video here. Take note of the format (intro, logo bumper, etc.).

I’d like you to make the topic of the video ONE of the following two options:

  1. Why you want to work at IMPACT.
  2. Why you’re so passionate about video.

The video needs to include you and be shot indoors. Other than that, I want you to use your creativity.

Here are a few of the things I’m going to be looking at:

  • On-camera performance.
  • Audio mastering.
  • Color grading.
  • Use of text overlays.
  • Overall creativity.
  • Ability to follow directions.

Please send this to me in the next 2-5 business days. I’m available to answer any questions you might have. When you submit your video, please give me a brief description of the project and why you made certain creative choices.”

Note: An even better way to customize this activity for your organization would be to give them one of your blog articles as the topic of their submission. If you don’t have any articles yet, the topics mentioned above will work.

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 visual storyteller

At IMPACT, we’ve used these very criteria to help align some of the best video marketing talents with organizations that 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.

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