Tips For Setting Up and Conducting Great Podcast Interviews
Good interviews make for good listening and many professional podcasts rely almost exclusively on interviews. Whether your podcast is going to be interview based or not, it is a great idea to have some interviews in your mix. Interviews are an essential element of the professional podcast and can greatly change your podcast game. If you are a beginner, interviews can seem intimidating. Where do you start? Let’s take a look at some tips for setting up and conducting great podcast interviews.
Who are you going to interview? Answering this question is a great start. Make a list of people you would like to interview. Make sure they are relevant to your podcast audience. Not everybody on your list will agree to do an interview with you, especially if your podcast is just starting out or isn’t very well known. People are busy and many won’t do your interview, but some will.
You can find just anybody on the internet. Through their website or publisher’s website if they are a writer. Many people can be contacted through social media.
The first thing to do once someone agrees to an interview with you is to set it up on the schedule. Determine if they are going to come in for the recording or more likely if it is going to be recorded remotely. If they are recording remotely try to square away a location familiar to them where they can go for the interview. It could be over the phone or on a lap top, but it should be in a quiet place. Also work out the time with them and understand the time where they are. They are your guest and should be catered to. To avoid confusion set up the time for the time zone they are in and make the adjustment on your end. It’s a good idea to confirm the time the day before or morning of the interview.
If you are recording in your own studio, make sure you have everything set up prior to the guest arriving. If it is a remote interview, send them instructions on how to log in or call in through the recording service you use. You can find an overview of remote recording here. For the best quality they should be using a computer with head phones and a quality microphone. It is standard procedure to send them a kit with head phones and microphone to use for the recording. If you want these items back, be sure to send them with the prepaid packaging to send back.
Create a plan for your interview with goals. Where do you want it to go and what to do you want out of it? Make of a list of questions which will lead down this path. Don’t just ask your questions during the interview, remember to dig deeper if their answer can go farther. Ask follow up questions to their answers like “how did that make you feel?” or “What did you do after that?”. Some people aren’t going to talk enough, and some will talk too much. A good plan with questions will help you to keep them on track.
Before starting your interview take a deep breath and relax. Continue to breath deep and slow through your interview and stay relaxed. Don’t be intimidated, don’t stress out over mistakes. Be sure to listen to what the person has to say. One of the most common interview mistakes is thinking about the next question or other things and not actually listening to the person you are interviewing. A great interview is like a conversation.
Keep it Classy
Always keep in mind the person you are interviewing is your guest and they are taking time away from their schedule to do you the favor of this interview. Value their time. Be ready to start. Keep it to the time frame you promised, unless they want to give you more.
Never ask them to promote your podcast. Always let them know what you are doing to promote them. Send them a link to your podcast with a thank you when it is available. If they promote it, is very nice of them. Keep in mind, when someone agrees to an interview, they are not agreeing to promote you on their media and it is not viewed well to ask them to, on top of providing you an interview.