How to Conduct a Solid Podcast Interview

As a Network that prides itself on engaging and insightful conversations, we understand the power of a quality podcast interview. Whether you’re a seasoned host or just starting out, conducting a captivating interview is an art that can take your podcasting game to new heights. In this blog, we’ll explore some essential tips and techniques to help you conduct a quality podcast interview that captivates your audience and leaves a lasting impression all around!

Keep reading for our top 10 tips on how to conduct a quality podcast interview:

1. Research, Research, Research

Before your interview, invest time in researching your guest. Familiarize yourself with their work, background, and notable achievements. This not only shows respect for your guest but also helps you ask informed and relevant questions that elicit insightful responses.

2. Preparing Your Guest

Whether you are interviewing your guest in-person or through an online platform like Zoom or Riverside, ensure your guest is well-prepared on the entire podcasting process so all they have to think about is the interview. If you are interviewing them in person, make sure to send them over step-by-step arrival instructions. If they are joining online, send the link to join via Zoom or Riverside ahead of time and best practices for a successful interview using the platform i.e. use headphones, be in a quiet room with minimal windows, use Google Chrome for best connectivity, etc.

3. Send Guests Questions

It’s always nice to give your guest an overview of the topics and/or questions you want covered in an interview. Send your guest a sample of questions that you plan on covering and give them a heads up that there will be additional, organic questions that come up in the conversation. This gives an opportunity for you to ask your guest what THEY would like to cover in the interview. Do they have something coming up that they would like to promote or announce? Give them the opportunity!

4. Active Listening

During the interview, practice active listening. Give your guest your full attention, and respond thoughtfully to their answers. Active listening demonstrates respect and also allows for organic follow-up questions, leading to deeper and more meaningful discussions.

5. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Avoid yes-or-no questions and instead focus on open-ended questions that encourage your guest to elaborate and share their insights. These questions typically begin with “how,” “why,” or “tell me about.” They provide your guests with the opportunity to delve into their experiences, thoughts, and emotions, resulting in more engaging content for your listeners.

6. Create a Comfortable Environment

Establishing a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere is crucial for your guest to open up and share their stories authentically. Be warm, friendly, and show genuine interest in their perspective. This fosters a sense of trust and encourages your guest to share more openly.

7. Balance Structure and Spontaneity

While it’s important to have a structured outline, don’t be afraid to deviate from it when the conversation naturally takes an unexpected turn. Some of the most memorable podcast moments arise from spontaneous and unplanned discussions. Embrace the flexibility to explore interesting tangents that may arise during the interview.

8. Embrace Silence

During an interview, silence can be golden. Don’t be afraid to allow moments of silence after a question or response. Sometimes, guests need a few seconds to gather their thoughts, resulting in more thoughtful and introspective answers. Embracing silence also gives your listeners a chance to absorb and reflect on the conversation (and don’t worry, you can cut those silences out in post-production!).

9. Respect Diverse Perspectives

Podcast interviews often involve guests with diverse backgrounds, opinions, and experiences. It’s important to approach each interview with an open mind and a willingness to explore different perspectives. Foster an environment where respectful dialogue can flourish, even if there are disagreements. This creates a dynamic and thought-provoking listening experience for your audience.

10. Continual Improvement

Remember, podcast interviewing is a skill that can always be refined. Seek feedback from your listeners, guests, and peers to understand what works well and what can be improved. Embrace a growth mindset, and always express gratitude for your guests’ time and insights!

Conducting a quality podcast interview is definitely an art form that requires preparation, active listening, and a genuine curiosity for your guest’s story. By implementing these tips, you can create compelling conversations that resonate with your audience and elevate the overall quality of your podcast. 

Want to learn more about podcasting or get your feet wet by learning the basics? Check out our Introduction to Podcasting Workshop here. OR take it a step further and jump into our Workshop Series full of helpful info to improve your podcast production, marketing, or advertising. More on that right here.