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5 Ways You Can Elevate Your Podcast Interview

Lots of audiophiles love an engaging podcast interview.

That’s because people are enamored with good, old-fashioned storytelling. However, the key to getting the best content is to ask the right questions. 

Good preparation is the linchpin to gaining great insights and captivating moments from your guests. 

Here’s a 5-step guide on how hosts should prepare for their guests, ensuring every podcast interview is a standout success.

1. Open an Early Line of Communication With Your Guest

Begin your show prep well before you hit record by sending your guest a pre-interview checklist. 

This form should include fields for any relevant biographical info, topics of expertise, and specific points they’d like to dive into during the conversation.

Above: A snapshot of the checklist we give our clients at Westport Studios.

Also, schedule a video pre-interview so you can both feel out each other’s personalities and further explore potential talking points. You can also use this opportunity to cover basic fundamentals, like the correct pronunciation of your guest’s name. 

Ultimately, a pre-interview is the perfect time to build early rapport with your guest and help both of you relax.

These habits won’t just help you tailor your questions appropriately. They also show your guest that you value their time and are committed to making the podcast interview beneficial for both parties.

2. Optimize Your Recording Setup in Advance

Ensure that your recording environment is conducive to a smooth, professional interview. 

First, secure a quiet space and block any potential interruptions. Close your door, shut windows, and turn off or silence any devices that might introduce uninvited background noise. 

Next, if you’re conducting your interview remotely, check that your guest has a stable internet connection.

Finally, I've produced several podcast episodes where the host inadvertently used the computer's built-in microphone instead of their professional recording device.

Verify that you’re using the correct audio and video inputs for your equipment before you begin recording.

Minimizing technical issues upfront will allow both you and your guest to focus fully on the conversation and avoid any production snafus on the backend.

3. Schedule Your Podcast Interviews With Precision

Respect your guest's time (and yours) by clearly communicating the interview schedule. 

Confirm the date, time, and expected duration of the interview well in advance.

If you’re exceptionally crunched for recording slots, consider lumping two or three interviews back-to-back using a strategy called “batch recording.”

This level of organization will boost the professional quality of your podcast and reduce last-minute cancellations and rescheduling.

4. Conduct In-depth Research on Your Guest

Do a deep dive into your guest’s recent work, such as books, articles, or other significant projects.You’ll be better prepared to ask compelling questions that go beyond surface-level inquiries.Also, it may help to search for other podcast interviews they’ve participated in. Not only could these episodes give you some insight into your guest, but they could help you steer clear of exhausted material, as well. 

Prove to your guest and audience that you are deeply engaged with the topic and committed to delivering substantive content.

5. Get Comfortable With Flexibility

As the old Prussian saying goes, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

While it's important to have a well-structured interview outline, be adaptable and open to where the conversation might naturally lead. 

Spontaneity can create unforgettable moments. Allow the conversation to flow naturally, and be ready to explore unexpected topics that may arise (just don’t get too off-course).

Your Podcast Interview Will Be as Good as the Work You Put Into It 

Thorough and thoughtful preparation for a podcast interview is key to getting the most out of your guests and creating valuable content for your listeners. 

By checking all these boxes in your interview prep, you can practically guarantee that each interview not only meets but exceeds expectations. 

It’s the most surefire way to become the podcasting authority in your brand’s niche.

Ready to transform your podcast interviews? Contact us for personalized coaching and resources tailored to help you delight your guests and audience alike.


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