Interviewing guests on your podcast can be such a fun experience, and bring great benefits to your show! Not only do you get to chat with a friend or field expert, you can grow your audience with cross promotion with your guest, and you can add some variety into your podcast episodes.
Yet, hosting interviews can come with a lot of hesitation. We’ve talked a lot about in other posts about other considerations when preparing to host a guest (check those out here,) but one very important aspect of interviewing a guest is preparing great questions! You may not know where to start when interviewing your guest, but creating interesting questions in advance can give you a great place to begin!
Hosting a guest on your podcast allows you to introduce a fresh voice to your audience. Interview episodes tend to be the most popular with listeners, mostly because you are reaching a new group of listeners through your guest’s audience. Two voices-two audiences. When your guest promotes their feature on your show, they are putting your content in front of a demographic you might have not reached before!
Additionally, you may choose to feature a guest who is an expert in a particular field. This person can be a great benefit to both you and your listeners! Your listeners don’t have to be the only ones learning.
Interviewing a guest may seem a little daunting to you.
As the podcast host, you hold the keys to the interview. Your guest will follow your lead throughout the interview-they are your guest. You come with the questions, and they’re ready to answer them.
This aspect frightens a lot of podcasters away from inviting others onto their show. Will your guest like your questions? Will your listeners be bored? These are all very valid questions, but ones you don’t need to have anymore.
You can conquer these fears by prepping ahead of time. Coming to your guest with unique questions ready will give you the confidence to record an interesting interview! On top of that, well crafted interview questions will add value to your audience-your listeners should gain something from this interview.
The first step in preparing questions is to do your research. View your guest’s content, learn more about their expertise. Have they been interviewed before? Try to avoid questions they might have been asked hundreds of times. Make your time with this guest stand out, be different.
Questions Not to Ask Your Guest
There are some major no-nos when it comes to interviewing guests. These few categories are questions that you’ll want to definitely avoid.
Your questions should be open-ended. Answering your own question takes away any opportunity for your guest to provide interesting insight.
Yes and No Questions
Questions that your guest can answer with one word are so boring! Stay away from asking questions that your guest can’t elaborate on. Don’t waste their time with over-simplified questions. You want to value their time by getting more of their insight in your interview!
Cliché Getting to Know You Questions
Everyone seems to lead with the, “Tell me a little about yourself.” style of question. While these kinds of questions may be fin in everyday conversation, your listeners are bored of hearing it! Find a more interesting way to allow your guest to talk about themselves. Approaching this question differently will cause your guest to think differently about how to answer. In short-you will hear their genuine response over a rehearsed spiel.
Questions You Should Ask Your Guest
So we’ve established what types of questions you should avoid-now what? What are the questions you should be asking your guest to stimulate the most interesting conversation?
You should have done a little research on your guest before your interview, find unique ways to encourage them to elaborate on their background, career, or personal life.
“What has led you to where you are?”
“What have you learned from your failures?
“How would your closes friends or family describe you?”
“What is your morning routine?”
You’re looking to get your guest to open up in a way that makes your interview unique. Your guest probably has been featured as a guest on other podcasts or has spoken at events-they’ve heard and answered all of the cliche questions. Search for an interesting way to approach the information you’re looking for.
When asking about their areas of expertise or career, you’re wanting to hear what has brought them there and what advice they’d give to others seeking to be like them. Again, find unique ways to allow your guest to share more.
“What’s a major challenge you’re facing right now? How are you overcoming that?”
“If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when beginning in your career, what would it be?”
“What life lesson have you learned from your career that everyone should know?”
“What are your tips on achieving where you want to be in ten years?”
The most important aspect of your guest interview is authenticity. Listeners can tell when you’re having a genuine conversation and your guest is sharing openly and honestly. Your time with your guest should feel natural and intentional. Preparing with great questions is a jumping-off point for a fantastic interview!
Looking for more resources to nail your podcast interview? Check out the Gaffin Creative Podcasting Resources Feed for more helpful blogs! Head to the Gaffin Creative Podcast Shop to find beneficial templates and worksheets to launch your podcast to the next level .