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Podcast Interview Guide


Conducting a successful podcast interview relies on good prepation, good equipment and good communication control. To ensure you get a successful result from your podcast interviews:

Good Preparation

  1. Plan an interview timeline - allow 2 minutes for introduction and wrap up and keep the conversation moving across your key points.
  2. Prepare Questions in Advance - place questions in a logical order spiralling out from a central theme. Include a list of possible follow-up questions based on expected responses to primary questions. Jot down any key phrases commonly used around that question context as prompts for any further discussion. Make sure the interveiwee gets a copy of your questions well in advance, and if appropriate, ask for any suggestions before you finalise the script.
  3. Research Interview Subject - most interviewees will provide a brief bio for their introduction. You can usually find plenty of background on key figures from Googling their name and associated products or companies. This research is invaluable to predict possible responses to questions. Blogs are a great resource on their personal views, if they have one.
  4. Respect - the interviewees time and include subject matter that supports not only your cause, but theirs as well. And please, confirm the pronunciation of the interviewee's name prior to beginning the interview!
  5. Reconfirm the Scope - reconfirm the scope of the interview with the interviewee, immediately before commencing. Include expectations, agenda, time and format of the podcast show.


  1. Hardware and Software - inform guests of any required hardware or software they must install prior to the interview. Provide links to sources sites.
  2. Recording Equipment Positioning - provide guidelines to your guest on how far away to place the microphone from their mouths. Adjust your distance, based on the relative natural speaking volumes, so that recorded volume levels are equal.
  3. Test - equipment prior to the interview for sound quality, and volume levels.

Communication Control

Nervousness results in a tight sounding voice and fast talking, so warm up with a quick podcast sidebar before introducing the guest. Learn a few key relaxation techniques. Encourage guests to talk slower.

  1. Relax your guest - spend a few minutes chatting before the interview to put your guests nerves at ease.
  2. Use Open Ended Questions - these are questions that cannot be answered with just Yes or No. Encourage your guests to elaborate on their responses.
  3. Keep You Ego In Check - don't try to prove to the guest how much you know about the subject. If you don't quite understand a guests response, request further explanation. It is probably just what your listeners want also.
  4. Stay in Control - you are the interviewer and you should be directing and controlling the conversation. It is likely that at times you will need to interrupt your guest or bring them back to the scope of the interview. Use a key phrase that you have previously shared with your guest, as a shared signal of your need.
  5. Use Time Cues - just like subject signals, also you time signals such as: "one more question", or "let's wrap this up, can you quickly tell me" to cue your guest that time is almost up.
  6. Give Thanks - always thank your guest both on and off air. Follow up with a copy of the interview or a link to download it. Encourage your guest to share this link with their contacts.

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