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9 Tips to Excel in Conducting Podcast Interviews

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More people are taking on podcasting as their main profession or side hustle. If you want to become a successful podcaster, you might consider conducting interviews since talking to guests has become a customary podcasting element.

Anything can go wrong during a podcast interview. In this article, we’re going to tell you how to avoid mishaps and host a top-notch interview.

1. Invite Interesting People

You don’t want to be someone who hosts boring podcast interviews. To avoid this, always interview people who will bring value to your listeners. Try inviting guests who can talk about topics related to your primary podcast themes as well.

Find people who have a unique perspective on things. Having people who overcame unexpected challenges in life or refuse to accept societal norms on your show will surely interest your audience.

Featuring interesting guests might not always be possible, but you should try to get them more often than not.

2. Do the Research

Listening to podcasts

Research is an indispensable part of conducting an interview. Your primary goal should be gathering sufficient information about the guest because knowing too little will paint you in a bad light and knowing too much can take away all the fun.

Before they come over, visit their website to learn about their contributions and check out their social media profiles to learn about their online persona.

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If they’re a writer, singer, actor, or artist, going through some of their work will make the interview lively and interactive; you will know more about them, and they will likely appreciate you taking an interest in them.

You should also know the basics of the main subject of the podcast, otherwise, there won’t be much to talk about. This can also help you get the ball rolling to ask the questions your audience wants to know.

3. Prepare a Bio for the Guest

At the beginning of your interview, you could ask the guest to tell you something about themselves. While they may have a prepared bio, it’s often too long or too short, and, not to mention, boring. That’s why you should prepare a bio for the guest.


Check the About section of their website or their Wikipedia page. And, as already mentioned, visiting their social media profiles will also help you find information about them.

Having a bio will allow for a proper introduction of your guest. It might be a good idea to let them fact-check it before getting started.

Related: The Best Apps for Managing Podcasts on Linux

4. Give the Audience What They Want

Your podcast interview should aim to keep your listeners informed and entertained. Hence, you must find out the details that your audience would want to hear from the interviewee. Asking things listeners already know or aren’t interested in will be futile.

While conducting this research, dot the points down on a list. This way, you can weed out anything that you think won’t matter to the listeners. You can check sites like Quora to see what people want to know about the subject or the interviewee.


5. Plan and Share Your Questions Ahead

Interviewing a guest for podcast

Planning your questions ahead is crucial as you don’t want to run out of words during the interview, and you can also ask the questions in the right order.

If you’re the only one who knows about your questions beforehand, it’s not going to work, and things can easily go south. Sharing the questionnaire with the guest at least a week ahead is essential. You can email them the list or share it via a Google Doc.

This will give them sufficient time to come up with responses and tell you if there’s something that they’re uncomfortable with.

Related: Yeti vs. Yeti X vs. Yeti Nano: Which Blue Yeti Microphone Should You Buy?

6. Perform a Pre-Interview

Before you start interviewing your guest in front of the microphone, having a chat with them first is a good idea. This informal conversation will let you build rapport with the guest, and allow them to ask you any questions they might have.


It might not be possible to conduct a pre-interview with every single guest, but we highly recommend doing it if you can, especially if it’s their first time sitting down for a podcast.

7. Don’t Interrupt the Guests When They Speak

If you have a habit of cutting people off while they talk, it’s time to get rid of it (before even considering conducting interviews). Interrupting your guests while they speak will irritate the listeners, and the interviewees will find it rude. Your job is to pitch the right question and let them have the floor.

The only exception: if a discussion derails, you might need to interrupt them to get things back on track. Make a note of what they wanted to say; you can always circle back to it.

8. Listen Actively

Actively listening to a guest

The guest’s answers should be the center of the interview, which means you need to be an active listener. Listen to other podcast interviews to get a feel for how hosts act while their guest is speaking.

Remember, you’re acting as the proxy for your audience. There is no point in rushing into the next question. Instead, listen to them attentively and give a relevant and short reply before moving on.

9. Always Wear Headphones

A podcast is all about sound, and that’s why both you and your guest should use headphones. While using a good microphone is crucial, wearing headphones during recording is essential.

A headset will ensure that you have complete control over the sound because you can actually hear what you sound like. If needed, you can easily adjust your microphone position to improve the sound. The same goes for your guests.

This will also result in less editing later on. You can offer your guest a headset or let them bring their own if they want to.

Related: Are Expensive Headphones Worth It?

Conduct Podcast Interviews Like a Pro

As the podcaster, it’s your responsibility to create an interview worth listening to. If you follow these tips, you’re already one foot in the door of hosting a great interview. There are some great audio editing tools that you might want to have a look at, as well.


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