Connect with us


5 Essential Interview Techniques for Podcasters



Essential Interview Techniques for Podcasters

Image by DCStudio on Freepik

In the fast-changing world of podcasting, being good at interviews is just as important as the stuff you talk about. This guide is for anyone who’s either thinking of starting a podcast or wants to get better at the ones they’re already doing. It’s all about learning to make your interviews stand out.

In this article, I’ll cover the key skills you need for setting up, carrying out, and making your podcast interviews really pop. I’ll show you how to have smooth conversations, ask cool questions, and really listen to and go with what your guest is saying. This guide will help you not just chat with your guest but also keep your listeners hooked, making every episode something they’ll remember.

Preparing for Interviews

Preparing for interviews is a key step, especially when you’re just starting a podcast. It’s about researching your guest and planning the interview to make it engaging and insightful. This step sets the stage for everything else, like asking great questions and making your guest feel at ease.

1. Researching the Guest

The foundation of a successful podcast interview lies in thorough preparation. Researching your guest’s background, work, and public opinions provides a roadmap for the conversation. This homework helps in formulating relevant and insightful questions, showing your guest and audience that you’re invested in the dialogue.

Additionally, understanding your guest’s interests and expertise allows you to steer the conversation in a direction that highlights their strengths and insights. Such preparation not only enhances the quality of the interview but also builds a rapport with your guest, setting the stage for a more engaging and dynamic exchange.

2. Crafting Engaging Questions

Engaging questions are the backbone of any interview. Open-ended questions encourage guests to share more than just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, leading to richer content. It’s also important to sequence questions to create a natural progression in the conversation. Avoid pitfalls like leading questions or interrupting the guest, as they can disrupt the flow and make the interview feel staged.

Examples of engaging questions:

  • For a Musician: “What inspired you to write your latest album, and how does it reflect your personal journey?”
  • For an Author: “Can you share the story behind your book’s main character and how they evolved throughout your writing process?”
  • For an Athlete: “What has been the most challenging moment in your career, and how did you overcome it?”
  • For a Chef: “How do your cultural influences shape the way you approach cooking, and can you share a memorable dish that reflects this?”
  • For an Entrepreneur: “What motivated you to start your business, and what were some unexpected hurdles you faced along the way?”

3. Creating a Comfortable Environment

The setting of an interview, whether physical or virtual, plays a significant role in its outcome. For in-person interviews, a comfortable and quiet environment helps both you and your guest relax and open up. In the era of remote interviews, ensuring good audio quality and minimal distractions is equally important. Building rapport with your guest, perhaps through a pre-interview chat, can set the stage for a more relaxed and genuine conversation.

4. Active Listening and Adaptability

Active listening goes beyond just hearing the words; it involves engaging with the content of what the guest is saying. This engagement can lead to more thoughtful follow-up questions, showing your guest that their perspective is valued. Being adaptable is also key. If the conversation takes an unexpected turn, be prepared to steer away from your prepared questions and explore new territories that arise naturally.

Active listening cues:

  • Nodding and Affirmations: Show you’re listening by nodding and giving verbal affirmations like “I see” or “That’s interesting.”
  • Follow-Up Questions: Ask questions based on what the guest just said, such as, “You mentioned a challenging project. Can you tell us more about that?”
  • Reflecting Back: Paraphrase or summarize the guest’s points to show understanding, like “So, you’re saying that the experience shaped your approach, right?”
  • Observing Non-Verbal Cues: Pay attention to the guest’s body language and tone to gauge their comfort level and adjust your approach accordingly.
  • Flexibility with the Flow: If the guest brings up a new, interesting topic, be ready to go with it, even if it’s not in your planned questions.
  • Pausing to Allow Thought: Give the guest a moment to think after they speak, instead of immediately jumping to the next question.
  • Empathetic Responses: Show empathy and understanding, especially if the guest shares a personal or emotional experience.
  • Avoiding Interruptions: Let the guest finish their thoughts without interrupting, ensuring they feel heard and respected.

5. Making Conversations Smooth and Interesting

Maintaining a balance between speaking and listening can be challenging but is essential for a natural conversation. Encourage your guests to share deeper insights and personal stories, which add layers of depth to the interview. When handling sensitive topics, approach them with empathy and respect, ensuring your guest feels safe and understood.

Remember, your role as a host is not just to ask questions but to create an atmosphere where meaningful exchange can flourish. By doing so, you transform the interview into an enriching experience for both the guest and your audience, fostering a genuine connection that resonates long after the conversation ends.


The key to a great podcast interview is really about how well the host, guest, and audience connect with each other. When you’re just starting a podcast or an expert podcaster, it’s super important to focus on things like doing your homework for the interview, asking questions that keep the conversation interesting, making sure everyone feels comfortable, listening carefully, and keeping the chat flowing naturally.

These steps take your podcast beyond just a basic Q&A session and turn it into a meaningful conversation. The techniques we talked about don’t just make your podcast better, but they also make the whole experience more enjoyable for both your guest and your listeners. It’s not only about the questions you ask; it’s about the interesting stories you bring out and the connections you create during the show.

Michelle Chia is a Full Stack Digital Marketing Expert renowned for generating over 100 million in revenue and brand impressions through adeptly executed paid ads and SEO campaigns. Her expertise spans across various industries, helping businesses, from startups to established brands, to achieve significant ROI and enhanced brand visibility.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *