The Key to a Successful Podcast Interview

The Key to a Successful Podcast Interview

Interviews are one of the most popular forms of podcasting today and gives you access to a wide range of content. Instead of being sole responsibility for all the content on your show, interviews open your podcast up to different opinions, stories, advice, and expertise. This provides a lot of variety for your audience and takes a lot of pressure off you.

However, hosting a podcast interview is not always as straightforward as it sounds. As the interviewee, you are responsible for making sure your guests give your listeners something worthwhile.

It’s more than having a friendly chat in front of a microphone. You’ll often run into scheduling conflicts, technical interference and if you don’t prepare, you could end up with a boring interview that results in bad reviews. Or worse, your interview could devolve into a sales pitch. There’s nothing worse than having a discussion with someone who only wants to sell their product.

So, how do you make sure you host a great podcast interview? By preparing in advance. In this article, I’m going to give you some important tips to preparing for your podcast interview. Let’s start at the beginning.

Select relevant and exciting guests.

If you’re hosting an interview style podcast, the quality of your show is directly related to the quality of your guests. Boring guests equal boring interviews. And interesting guests will keep your listeners coming back for more.

Your goal should be to find experts who can share valuable information with your audience, on a topic that’s relevant to them, people who have a unique perspective, interesting work, or someone who is a captivating storyteller.

Do your homework.

Your podcast interview should not be your first exposure to your guest. You should know their story, major life events, current work, and situation. It’s important to be familiar with your guests’ story and area of expertise so you can help steer the conversation in a way that provides your listeners the most exciting and relevant information.

Being prepared with a list of questions gives you the best chance at keeping a lively conversation going and your audience engaged. Read articles online about your guest, follow them on social media, and at the very least, do a quick google search before the scheduled interview.

Prepare your guest for the interview.

Preparing a list of questions ahead of time, will not only ensure you are prepared for the interview, but it also allows your guest to feel confident before recording. Plan to send each guest a list of questions you plan to ask and encourage them to think of personal stories that relate to those questions.

You should also provide them with important information about your audience, details about the format and recording process, make sure they know exactly what to expect. Be sure to ask your guest if there’s something specific, they’re excited to share with you or maybe something they’d rather not discuss on your podcast. Better safe than sorry on this one!

While preparation is key, don’t be afraid to let the conversation evolve naturally, making sure you’re not asking leading questions or more than one at a time. A conversation that flows naturally is easier to listen to than hearing someone answer questions that are poorly formed or feel forced.

Write an interesting guest bio.

The guest’s bio is usually the first thing your listeners will hear and often the determining factor in whether they will continue listening. Most guest will give you a bio that has familiar information on it, like their education, work history, current profession, and any public recognition they’ve received. While this is all important information, your audience might be bored hearing something they already know.

Instead, take a few minutes to jot down some lesser-known facts about your guest. Information about their family, hobbies, or other special interests. Maybe mention a charity they’re involved in or a fun fact about their hometown. Grab your listeners attention and show them a side of your guests they can relate to. You can always include your guests’ professional credentials in the written description or mention them later in the interview.

Remember, if your guest has a good experience on your podcast, they are more likely to share your show with their own following. Podcast interviews are a great way to organically grow your audience. If you’re looking for help producing your podcast, reach out to us here at Life’s Tough Media – – and let’s book your next guests today!


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