This episode is part 2 of how to be a great interviewer for a podcast or panel.
In Episode 295, I dived into what to do BEFORE an interview. In this episode, you’ll discover what to do DURING an interview to help the guest feel comfortable, keep the listener engaged, and the conversation flowing.
Key points are outlined below:
Help your guest feel comfortable
- If your guest is stressed and nervous, you won’t get a great result, so it pays to support them as much as possible
- On the day – remind them of the audience and the end objective to help keep them on track
- Be vulnerable with them before you start – share something personal about yourself. This may encourage them to open up.
- If it’s for a pre recorded podcast: Let them know it will be edited later, so they can pause or restart a response. It doesn’t have to be a perfect flowing conversation
- Give them water!
- With our Podcast Services Australia clients, we get the guests to put on headphones and speak into the microphone about random stuff for about 10-15 minutes before hitting record. This helps the guest get warmed up and more comfortable with the equipment.
Story Gathering Questions
These are great questions for going DEEPER into a conversation. Stories evoke emotion, capture attention, and bring light, shade and richness to your interview.
- Do you remember the first time you ____ ? What was your emotional state like?
- What was the biggest challenge you were facing?
- What did you do to try to solve this challenge on your own?
- What have you learned about ___?
- What was most surprising to you about ___?
- Is there are particular moment or memory that stands out for you?
- Tell me about the moment when you ____ ?
- And then what happened?
- How has this changed you?
- How did it feel when. . . ?
- Is there anything else you would like to share with me?
- Is there any question I should I have asked you, but did not?
Questions to AVOID:
- Starting with “Tell me about yourself” – this is lazy and boring and invites the guest to go on a 5 minute ramble about their life and stuff that’s most likely unrelated to the interview topic. Pick something specific about their life to ask about.
- Double barrelled questions – this is where you ask two questions at once, ie: “Who was the biggest influence growing up, and how did that help you in your career choices?” This is confusing for your guest, and they will probably just answer one anyway.
- Questions where you over-explain or feed them the answer, ie: “So, Sarah, what was the secret to your success? Do you think it was to do with having great mentors, was it right place right time, just hard work, what was it?” It’s up to your guest to answer the question, not you!