How To Conduct A Good Podcast Interview
Who doesn’t love a good podcast interview? Podcast interviews are entertaining, engaging, and always keep those listeners coming back for more. Not only do interviews make podcast episodes more interesting, but they can actually add more value to your podcast.
So, what does a good podcast interview look like? When conducted properly, podcast interviews contain conversations that flow freely from one topic to the next. They keep the audience hooked and make the podcast episode unforgettable. Additionally, they open the floor for the most thought-provoking responses, resonate well with the audience, and promote increased engagement.
If you’re interested in conducting an awesome podcast interview, we’ve totally got you covered! Check out these tips below to find out what to do before, during, and after your podcast interview to make sure it’s one for the books. With these tips, you can be confident that you’re creating a great podcast interview each and every time!
How To Conduct A Good Podcast Interview
Do your research.
First things first, do your research. What topics interest you? Which topics interest your listeners? What type of people would you like to interview? Use this information to figure out who you should invite on your podcast and what topics you’d like to discuss. The more time you take researching your podcast guest, the more it will pay off in the end.
Invite interesting guests.
Let’s be honest – no one wants to listen to an interview with a shy or boring guest. This is why it’s so important to research and invite interesting guests. But, how do you accomplish this? Well, there are many ways to ensure that you’re inviting an engaging guest. You can read about them, stalk their social media, listen to past interviews, and reach out to past employers. Make sure you choose people you are genuinely interested in – if not, it will show. For more information on inviting guests, be sure to read How To Get Guests For Your Podcast.
Establish a pre-interview process.
As a podcaster, we’re sure that you already have a pre-recording process. Maybe you do some research, jot down some topics or a list of questions, create an outline, and then record. When it comes to podcast interviews, it’s a good idea to create a pre-interview process as well. But, what does this look like?
The short answer is – it looks different for everyone! However, your pre-interview process should at least include going over topics and your prepared questions with your guest, taking some time to get to know your guest, and making sure your guest is comfortable in the podcast studio. Establishing this process will greatly improve the quality of your interview and make your guest more willing to actually open up & create great content with you.
Use the right equipment.
Of course, it’s also important to invest in the correct equipment. The equipment required for a solo podcast is a little different than the equipment required for an interview. For example, when conducting interviews, you will need an extra microphone, an extra pair of noise-canceling headphones, and recording software that can separate and record multiple audio tracks. Be sure to check out our blog on Everything You Need to Start a Podcast for a comprehensive list of necessary equipment and our specific recommendations.
Focus on the guest(s).
Now, let’s talk about what to do during your podcast interview. As the podcast host, you should be in control of the conversation, but not to the extent that the interview seems to only focus on you. While recording, always make sure to focus on the guest. Of course, you will be speaking, answering questions, and offering insight as well. But, it’s important to highlight and/or showcase your guest – that’s why you invited them, right? Ways to focus on your guest include asking relevant questions, giving them ample opportunity to share and speak, and staying on topic.
Ask the right questions.
To keep your interview interesting and engaging, it’s essential to ask the right questions. Asking off topic, controversial, or random questions can make for a less interesting, or even awkward, interview. Be sure to take the time to craft interesting and engaging questions and always feel free to have your guest double check these questions in your pre-interview process. This way, they can remove any questions or topics that they feel uncomfortable talking about, help prevent those awkward silences, and reduce editing time later.
Not sure what to ask? Don’t worry – we’ve got plenty of resources you can use to craft the perfect interview questions. Some questions are best for the beginning of your interview to help break the ice and get your guest talking. These are your fun interview questions. Other’s offer insight to your guests past, their values, their dreams, etc. For inspiration and help creating the perfect questions, be sure to check out our articles on the 15 Best Questions to Ask in a Podcast Interview and the 30 Best Podcast Questions.
Practice active listening.
Active listening is one of those things that is easier said than done. It’s a skill that takes practice and patience and when applied, can greatly increase the quality of your podcast interview. It can prevent those awkward silences, make your guest feel more comfortable, and promote quality conversation. In reality, every podcast host should be a great active listener, especially if they plan to host interviews often. So, what is active listening?
Active listening is the “practice of preparing to listen, observing what verbal and non-verbal messages are being sent, and then providing appropriate feedback for the sake of showing attentiveness to the message being presented.” And, according to MindTools, there are five key ways you can be a good active listener. These include paying attention, showing that you’re listening, providing feedback, deferring judgment, and responding appropriately. As you prepare for your next interview, be sure to hone in these skills.
Know when to interrupt.
During a podcast interview, it’s important to keep the conversion moving forward. This prevents stagnant and boring conversation, reduces editing time later, and makes for a much more engaging episode. In order to keep the conversation rolling, it’s important to know when to interrupt and refocus the conversation.
Podcast hosts should interrupt when the guest has misunderstood the question, is venturing too far off topic, or is struggling to answer a certain question. Alternatively, hosts should not interrupt when the guest is speaking in a super passionate way or sharing interesting and engaging information.
Reflect on past interviews.
The best and easiest way to improve your interview skills is to reflect on past interviews and measure your podcast performance. Take note of which interviews garnered the most listeners and which didn’t. Also, take note of which interviews garnered the most listener interaction and which received no interaction at all. Then, ask yourself questions like: Which interviews went well and why? Which questions were the most successful? What questions should I avoid in the future? What type of guests did my listeners appreciate? By reflecting on your past interviews, you will be able to better identify what makes a good podcast interview. And thus, create better interviews in the future.
Listen to the pros.
Last, but certainly not least, listen to the pros. Take some time to research other popular podcasts in your niche and listen to their interviews. By doing this, you will be able to identify some key characteristics that make for an excellent interview. Take note of good questions, transitions, structure, when and how the podcast host interrupts the guest, and so on. Then, apply this information to your own podcast. Don’t be afraid to try something new and branch out of your comfort zone – the results just might surprise you!
Conducting good podcast interviews can greatly improve the success of your podcast!
There are many ways you can improve the success and quality of your podcast! These include investing in the right equipment, learning how to better market your podcast, and, of course, conducting good podcast interviews. If you’re looking to start a podcast or to take your podcast to the next level and you love to interview people, then the above tips are sure to come in handy.
As you continue your podcasting journey, feel free to come back and refresh your memory as often as needed. And, for more information on podcasting in general, head on over to the Dear Media Blog. There, you will find a wide variety of blogs that contain professional podcasting tips that can help you up your game in no time. And finally, if you have any additional questions or comments, feel free to drop us a line below! Until next time, we wish you the best of luck as you develop your podcast.