9 Actionable Ways to Prepare for Interview Podcasts
- Diana Aghumyan
- June 2, 2023
- 10 min read
Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. The USA has the most podcast listeners in the world. About 144 million people in the United States listen to a podcast on a monthly basis.
The interview podcast format is one of the most popular podcast formats. This type of podcast usually involves a host having a discussion with a new guest every week. While guests and topics are different, there’s always a topic that connects them. The best interview podcasts have interesting guests and topics to discuss.
Hosting a podcast interview might be a little bit challenging if you are just getting started. It’s not similar to having a casual and friendly conversation with someone. If you fail to prepare, your interview will end up being a boring conversation that does not entertain your audience and makes them tune out.
Or, even worse, your interview could sound like a sales pitch. There’s nothing worse than having a discussion with people whose primary goal is to sell their products.
So, if you are serious about starting interview podcasts, you need to prepare for them appropriately. In today’s article, we will walk you through some of the advantages and disadvantages of interview podcasts, as well as useful tips to get ready for them.
Pros and Cons of Interview Podcasts
Before we dive into the main topic of today’s article, it is important to understand what benefits and downsides interview podcasts come with. This will allow you to understand whether this podcast format suits your needs and personality.
The pros of interview podcasts are the following.
- Conversations are usually more natural and require minimal editing.
- You will always have a lot to say about a particular topic, as all guests will bring their own perspectives on your niche.
- You can highly increase your audience if your guests share your podcast.
The cons of interview podcasts are the following.
- You have to look for relevant podcast guests and try to find a comfortable time to book them.
- Interview podcasts depend on the internet connection. If it is poor, you are going to have problems interviewing people online.
- You need to invest a lot of time in conducting research and preparing for interviews․
A Short Guide On How to Prepare for Interview Podcasts
If you are a podcaster who wants to try something new, then interview podcasts are for you. We have put together some simple but actionable tips for hosting an amazing interview podcast. So, let’s start!
1. Invite Interesting Guests
Some guests might be boring. Other guests cannot be the best fit for your show. If you host an interview with people who don’t give much value to your audience, your interview will turn out to be terrible.
This is why you need to invite guests who are interesting and bring their unique perspectives to the show. Such people can guarantee to have smooth, engaging, and natural conversations on a particular topic.
To find relevant guests for your podcast show, make sure to use social media platforms. LinkedIn is the best place to look for guests. You can find people with different backgrounds and contact them via the platform or email.
2․ Do Some Research Background Research On Your Interviewees
A podcast interview should not be your first interaction with your guests. You should know something about them before you invite them to your show. One of your duties as a host is to introduce the guest to your audience, so knowing enough about the subject will help you get started.
To learn more about your guests, explore their social media pages, and look up what they’ve said online (or what other people have said about them). Find out if they have any significant achievements, like receiving an award or speaking at a famous conference). You can also watch their videos and listen to any other podcast shows they have been invited to.
In addition to these, find some of their recent interviews and take notes while listening. Write down which questions they are answering to avoid them during the show. Instead, try to find your angle and create questions that will make them give unique and interesting answers.
Indeed, research takes time and effort. However, it is worth learning about your guests ahead of time to prepare for the show appropriately and produce engaging content for your audience.
3․Prepare Your Questions
Once you are done with your research, you can prepare your questions to ask your guests during the show.
However, don’t be afraid to deviate a bit from your plan. Using just prepared questions might lead to an unnatural conversation. If an interesting question arises during the show, don’t hesitate to ask.
Below are a few useful tips to help you craft quality questions:
- Don’t ask generic questions
Asking basic questions will make you seem like a stupid person who does not know the interviewee. Some examples of generic questions are: “What are you famous for?” or “What course are you promoting?” Instead, craft questions by first establishing a premise, like this: “You’re best known for creating a course on a healthy lifestyle. Why do you think people are interested in it?”
- Avoid yes/no questions
Yes/No questions are closed-ended questions, and interviewees can answer with a simple “yes” or “no.” Such questions can cause an awkward situation if your guest feels nervous or is not talkative. Instead, ask your guests questions that will make them talk longer on a particular topic.
- Don’t ask multiple questions at once
Don’t ask several questions at once unless they are closely related. They can cause confusion. Moreover, your guests might end up forgetting the next few questions you packed in one. Ask your questions one at a time to avoid having a messy conversation.
- Concentrate on “how” and “why” questions
These types of questions let you dive into things that matter. For example, it’s interesting to learn that a person started a small business, but it’s way more interesting to know what motivated your guest to do it and how he accomplished it.
4․ Arrange Your Questions in a Logical Order
Compile up a short list of conversation-starter questions to ask your guest in a logical order. When you structure things, your conversation flows more smoothly, and everything sounds more natural. So, go through your questions again and arrange them in a way that will lead listeners on an easy-to-follow path.
A straightforward method to do this is to conduct interviews in chronological order. You can ask the guest questions regarding his/her childhood and then proceed to the present and future aspirations. However, it does not mean you should necessarily follow a particular order. It all depends on the person you are interviewing and the questions you are going to ask.
5․ Be Concise
Avoid beating around the bush. Instead, be straightforward and concise when asking questions. Respect both your and your guest’s time. Instead of having a long conversation that lacks any interesting points, ask short and simple questions that will lead to a more natural conversation.
6․ Set a Day and Time
As we have already mentioned, it might be difficult to book podcast guests. You need to fit into their schedule, especially if it is someone influential.
Once you manage to find a day and time that best works for you both, mark it on your calendar not to forget about it and start planning and all preparations.
7․ Provide Your Guests With All Information They Need
You can fail your interview before it even starts if you don’t provide your guests with detailed instructions and information they might need. These could be technical things like how to use a mic or podcast interview software. This way, you can make sure you and your guests are not stressed about anything.
8․ Find a Comfortable Space for Recording
The next important step should be finding the right place for your interview. It should be a cozy and quiet place to record your show. When researching your guests, you can get a better understanding of what type of venue they would like the most. Take their interests and needs into account when looking for a place.
9․ Minimize Distractions
When you invite someone to your podcast show, make sure there is nothing else going on in your recording space at that specific time. Getting rid of any distractions is one of the most important podcast tips you should keep in mind. If there is a pet in your recording space, take care of it before you start recording your interview so it doesn’t distract you during the show.
It is not recommended to take breaks during the interviews, as they can destroy its flow, especially if your guests use breaks to take a phone call or check their emails. Do your best to keep their focus on your show.
We’ve provided you with a few useful tips for hosting a great podcast interview. There is one bonus tip. Take your interview seriously. It does not matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced podcaster. It is always a good idea to prepare for your interviews ahead of time. If you don’t, you will end up having a boring conversation and seeming incompetent in front of your guest and audience.
SEO Content Writer
Diana is an experienced creative SEO content writer at SayNine. She is passionate about writing and giving value to people with her articles. Her blogs revolve around advertising, digital marketing, and other similar topics.