Find A Quiet Space To Record
If youre recording your interview from home, theres bound to be some noise around you: pets, the air conditioner, jewelry, the refrigerator, neighbors. You may not notice these sounds in everyday life, but odds are your microphone will. Find a quiet place to record and encourage your guest to do the same. A spare bedroom or closet makes a great recording booth, and you can do some makeshift soundproofing by covering the door with curtains or blankets. Wherever you choose to record, be mindful of extra movements from your hair and clothessubtle sounds that can be easily picked up by a mic.
If your kid is crying downstairs during one of your interviews, that sound could be picked up in the background. One thing we do to combat that problem is mute our side of the conversation on Zencastr or Skype when our guest is talking. Tim Pilleri and Lance Reenstierna, hosts of Crawlspace
S To Prepare For An Interview
1. Guest and Topic Research
When you invite a guest on your podcast, get started by researching.
Before you invite someone on your podcast, you should have a decent amount of knowledge around:
- Who they are
- How they can add value to your audience
- What theyre currently working / focused on
Knowing these things ahead of time will help you in guiding the conversation.
This is also a part of the process that could be delegated to a team member if you dont feel you have sufficient time to do thorough research on every potential guest.
2. Scheduler and Intake Form
Once youve done your research and found someone who you know will be a great guest, your next step is to send them a scheduler link so they can book a time for the interview.
Both of these programs allow you to share a link and have someone book a time with you, plus they help you gather all info you need ahead of time from you guest via an intake form.
So if a part of your interview will be sharing:
- your guests bio,
- a fun fact about their childhood,
- 5 bullet points that they can talk about during the interview, and
- an image for you to use for social media and your show notes
you can request ALL of this prior to the interview even taking place via an intake form!
3. Questions to ask
Weve got a list of 10 of the best questions to ask below, but be creative! This is your show and it should be unique to you.
4. Interview pre-chat
Should I Send Podcast Interview Questions Upfront
While sending a list of interview questions is generally up to you, itâs considered polite to give your guest at least a heads-up of the topics youâll want to cover. And some guests even insist on seeing the podcast questions in advance.
Even if you donât want to send the exact questions word for word, it can be helpful to the flow of your show if your guest has a bit of time to prepare their general answers.
While sounding unrehearsed is a great goal, in practice, unprepared interviewees can often stumble and ramble over their answersâcausing you more work in the editing process.
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Ways To Be Exceptionally Prepared For A Podcast Interview
According to recent research from The Infinite Dial report, conducted by Edison Research, 67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly and 42 million listen weekly .
I dont think anyone truly predicted the insane rise in popularity of podcasts, but I love podcasts, so Im certainly not complaining!
The beauty of podcasts is that you can listen to them while youre doing other things, like running, cleaning the house, doing laundry, and driving to work. Theyre a passive form of media, and they allow you to get lost in a story.
I host my own podcast, and my team produces many, many popular podcasts, so weve seen our fair share of successes and failures in podcast preparation, both from the hosts and the guests. I wanted to share a few best practices to make your podcasting life easier, whether youre an ongoing host or a frequent guest.
The Process Involved To Get The Interns On Board
What do you need to have in the intern interview? What was part of the original interview questions that changed along the way? . What’s the first thing you do once you get an intern? What does an average day look like with an intern? How much time should you allocate to get things settled in? How do you deal with space issues, if you work out of a small office?
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Dont Interrupt The Guests When They Speak
If you have a habit of cutting people off while they talk, its time to get rid of it . Interrupting your guests while they speak will irritate the listeners, and the interviewees will find it rude. Your job is to pitch the right question and let them have the floor.
The only exception: if a discussion derails, you might need to interrupt them to get things back on track. Make a note of what they wanted to say you can always circle back to it.
The Equipment Youll Need
You must have a microphone and a computer with internet access.
If you are starting out, first try your standard microphone on your PC/Mac. If it doesnât meet the standard you want, you need to buy a new microphone. A popular purchase right now is the Audio-Technica ATR 2100 which sells for around $50 and it will plug straight into your PC/Mac with a USB connector.
If you want to go pro, then you should invest in a heap of expensive and exciting equipment. The problem is, if you are starting out, you wonât want to spend that kind of money, we are talking about hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars. A popular, more expensive, microphone on the market right now is the Yeti.
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Keep Your Goals In Mind
In the end, your podcast is supposed to be providing value to your audience. So what is the value you hope to give them from this interview?
Will your guest be teaching life hacks, revealing academic knowledge, or providing a much-needed laugh? Keep your end results in mind so that you can steer the conversation in the right direction.
Consider A Video Call
Some interviews benefit from a face-to-face connection. Seeing your guests expressions and reacting to each others body language makes for more dynamic and engaging conversation. Your audience may not see this footage in the end, but theyll be able to hear your sense of connection in the audio.
Set up a call using Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or your other favorite video conferencing app. If youre recording your interview using Record With Friends, you can go ahead and mute yourselves on camera and stick with Anchor as the only audio source.
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So Finally Lets Talk About After The Podcast Interview
Funny enough, Id say that the before and after parts of podcasting are more important than anything. Obviously, we all want a great podcast episode as well, but part of that is a result of everything that happens before the podcast. And, if we do have a great podcast interview, then the after is super important.
So, guests, pay attention real quick. If youre working or cooking as you listen, just stop typing for a second and listen. If you are a guest on someones podcast, be courteous enough to actually share the interview. If you dont plan on sharing your interviews, then Id just stop wasting everyones time. If the host goes out of their way to create custom social media graphics for you to share your interview, then share it. The podcast host is graciously letting you onto their platform and in front of their audience, but your audience also wants to hear your podcast interviews. Yes, being a podcast guest is great for getting in front of new audiences but dont discount sharing it with your own audience as well.
Not only should you be sharing about the podcast interview, you also need to link to it from your website. This helps build social proof on your site for potential clients, and other podcast hosts, but will help your SEO, too.
So, lets recap.
I work with health and wellness professionals, authors, and service-based entrepreneurs to help them save time and look good online.
How To Prepare For A Podcast Interview: Guarantee Capturing The Good Stuff
And in a world of interview show after interview show, you have to do something to stand out. Here’s how!
Running a good podcast interview is hard. Despite the fact that your average brand-new podcaster considers it the easy option.
I can understand the misconception. It sounds simple: find an expert, get them on the phone and then ask them questions. Theres no need for you to do a thing! Is there?
Well, turns out that getting good content from that expert is far harder than anyone expects. Sure, they know their stuff, but can they deliver it well? Can they stay on-topic, tell a good story, and avoid the waffle? Can you steer them away from the standard, rehearsed sales pitches or background stories? Can you get something different, something dramatic, something funny, or something just interesting?
Thats what this article is about running a good podcast interview, and getting the best material you can. At the end of the day, its still down to the interviewee, but theres a LOT you can do to increase the chances that theyll deliver.
And in a world of interview show after interview show after interview show. you have to do something to stand out. So, lets jump in.
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Have A Purpose For Each Episode
What do you want your listener to get out of each episode? If youre interviewing someone, there should be a point. Why them and what is the conversation you want to have? If you have a business podcast and you know your listeners want to become better public speakers, create an episode on that and then find a guest who can teach your audience those skills. On episode 9 of Podcasting Step by Step, I talk about how to find guests for your show.
Have Unique Answers To The Standard Ten: Podcast Guest Tip #7
You know at least some of these are coming, so why not prepare? I have a document with good answers to all of the standard’ questions I’ve heard over the years.
Sure, you could answer these on the fly, but the point here is to stand out, isn’t it? No one wants to hear another interview where the recommended book is Start with Why, or the one bit of advice is just take it easy, realise things are going to be OK.
Take the time to think through the questions below, and come up with some unique answers. Think about your background, your uncommon beliefs and craft your answers accordingly, so they’re uniquely you.
I keep this updated, casting my eye over the existing questions every few months. I also add new questions to it all the time, after being asked them on a show, or hearing them on another interview.
- Whats your favourite book?
- Whats your favourite quote?
- What do people get wrong?
- What’s been your biggest challenge?
- What was your biggest mistake?
- What one bit of advice would you give your younger self?
- What should they do first?
- Any final words for our listener?
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Is It A Conversation Youd Eavesdrop Into
End of the day, a good podcast interview is one that you will want to sneak into and listen to even when you are not invited to listen. In short, the questions are such that the answers are worth listening to. They either teach, inspire or help you get unstuck.
Hope you found these questions and the techniques helpful. Go ahead and give them a try. If you are more interested in the art of podcasting and interviewing, sign up for Free Your Voice, my free 4-week podcasting course.
Leave a comment and share one thing you learnt from this article. What is one question you came up with, if you have? If you think you have a question I must consider for another post on this series, leave that question in the comments below.
Lil personal note: I share more tips, strategies, training, and more with our ever-growing community. If youd like to *not* miss out, do signup to my newsletter wherever you see email signup on this website. I hope youll join us. Be well.
S To A Successful Podcast Interview
Ive listened to a lot of podcasts from my industry and Ive noticed that many of them, although providing some value, are often let down by the quality of the questions asked by the interviewer.
Ive compiled the following seven steps to help if you are considering running a podcast and interviewing people. These tips represent what I have learned as the best techniques for you to get the most out of the people you interview. The better an interviewer you are, the better the quality of your podcast, and thus your audience will really benefit from the content and share it with others.
Here we go
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Respond To Your Guest
Most people hear rather than actually listen, more focused on giving a reply that suits themselves instead of the person they are speaking with. This is the number one thing to avoid when interviewing someone for a podcast. Rather than sticking to your pre-planned question list, you should respond to your guests answers, like a natural conversation. Any unnatural attempts to steer a reply a certain way will come across as awkward when you are listening back to the audio.
The Reality Of Podcast Interviews
You might be an avid podcast listener. Or you may have heard only one or two random podcasts till now. But what are you supposed to do when you get invited as a guest to a podcast?
Being invited to a podcast can be thrilling and also an overwhelming experience. You are about to have a conversation that will be listened to by thousands of individuals around the world. And you may or may not be used to speaking for an audience.
However, if you get a chance, dont turn it down. Listeners place their trust in podcasters and consider podcasts to be a lot more genuine than other media. A podcast appearance can benefit you immensely if you are an entrepreneur, an industry leader, a coach, or any vocation where more visibility translates into more success. You can easily prepare and give your best on a podcast episode.
If you are going to make an appearance on a podcast, follow these tips for podcast guests and leave a lasting impression with what you say.
BTW, I also have a good list of tips for podcast hosts. You can find it here.
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How Do You Ask A Question On A Podcast
Becoming a good interviewer and asking great podcast interview questions is a practice. The best way to constantly improve is to keep doing it.
Each time you complete an interview, you should be asking yourself:
- What went well?
- What didnt go well?
- How can I improve the next time Im on the microphone?
When you are focused and committed to becoming better every time you get on the microphone, improvement is inevitable.
With this in mind, having question lists is a good way to make sure you have all the questions you want to get through in one place.
But remember: people want to hear stories and a good conversation, so while interview questions can and should be a guide for your episode, never sacrifice quality of conversation just because you want to get through all of your questions.
When it comes to how to ask a question on a podcast, keep these tips in mind.
For example, instead of me asking John Have you tried Facebook advertising before?
A much better way to pose this would be Whats the best marketing strategy to grow your podcast audience that youve tried to date?
First, its very like youre genuinely curious about his answer.
Second, its not a yes or no question, so it will automatically encourage a more in-depth answer that can lead to a bigger conversation.
Podcasts Have Higher Conversion Rates
When I recently launched my book, I went on a podcast that had a readership of around ten thousand people the day after I had a guest post go live on a site that had around ten thousand readers. I sold almost five times as many books the day the podcast went live.
Why do podcasts drive higher conversion rates?
First, listening to someone on a podcast forms a much more personal relationship than reading an article they wrote.
Second, its more difficult to skim podcast in the way you can skim an article and so theyre going to hear the full story behind you and your business, not just the headlines.
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A Great Interview Question Provides Value To Your Audience
For many remote interview podcasts, the episode is only as good as the questions . Finding the right balance of informative and entertaining usually starts with the hostâs ability to put their guests at ease, converse with them naturally, and spark intriguing, dynamic conversation.
When deciding which questions out of this list to use in your own show, consider: will it help your guest reveal somethingâabout who they are, how they think, or what they knowâthat provides value to your audience?
If so, youâre probably on the right track!