So, you’ve finally penciled in that podcast guest you’ve been trying to get on your show. Congratulations! New guests are a great opportunity to bring insights and new ideas into your podcast.
The only thing left to do, of course, is the actual interview—which can be a little nerve-wracking, whether or not you have other successful ones under your belt. Luckily, setting your guest (and yourself) up for a great interview isn’t hard as long as you follow a few simple interview techniques.
1. Research Your Guest
If you don’t know much about your guest, it’s time to do some homework in advance. Check them out with a quick Google search and scroll through their website and social media feeds. Blog posts can provide a wealth of information, as well as any articles or books they’ve written. When you make the effort to research your guest in advance, you tend to find natural connections between them and yourself, as well as points of interest for the podcast, all of which can help you develop more intriguing questions for your interview.
2. Plan Your Questions
Once you’ve researched, don’t forget that your podcast is where your guest’s knowledge and your audience’s interests overlap. With the broad knowledge your guest has, what questions will pull out information your audience will want to know? What takeaways can you bring them? Consider your questions in advance and narrow your final list down to the most relevant options.
3. Send Support Materials for Your Guest
For most successful interviews, it helps if the guest understands what they’re getting into. Send them a little info about the type of interview you’d like to run, including the total length, the types of listeners you have and what they expect, and even one or two things you ask every guest. Communicating this in advance can help your guest come prepared, which always makes for a better show.
One way to help your guests (and yourself!) feel more comfortable is a brief pre-interview questionnaire. This type of form can give your guest a sense of the information you want to know, and it also allows you to gather details about them beyond their online public record. For example, you might ask them how to pronounce their name, brand, or city—which can help the final recording sound more polished! Don’t forget to also find out why your guest is qualified to tackle your topic and why they’re passionate about it.
4. Relax and Have Fun
Remember, this interview may be a focal point of your podcast, but at the end of the day, the best interviews are just good conversations. Your guest wants to share their passion for the topic, and your listeners are expecting to have a good time. Be warm and welcoming to put your guest at ease, speak naturally, and be a good listener so you can ask relevant follow-up questions—just as you would in a conversation with a good friend. When you’re having fun, it always comes across in the audio!
Once the preparation is done, there’s nothing left but to be genuinely yourself and have a fun conversation—which is a great reward for all your hard work! Follow these tips for continued success and to keep more interviews coming. And if you’re looking for more guidance on the path to success, some of my past podcast guests might be just what you need. Check out my recent episodes for more!