When making a podcast, you are most likely going to invite guests onto your show for an interview. Before having a guest on your show you need to ask yourself, “Am I properly prepared for hosting an interview?” If you plan on doing an interview based podcast or a special interview episode, the idea of hosting one may seem daunting at first. Ease the stressful endeavor of podcast interviewing  with these essentials for hosting your first podcast interview.

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Choose a Video Chat Platform

Before starting anything else, you must know what program you are going to use to conduct your podcast interview. You must have a good understanding of what is the most effective and convenient for everyone involved with the production of the interview. This might involve you dedicating time to test out different programs.

The most conveniently modern way to interview people is over video chat. There are plenty of applications that have this feature but we recommend Zoom, GoogleMeet or Skype to start off with. Before recording an actual episode we recommend recording a short, unpublished test interview with a loved one, using each video chat application. It’s better to test programs before the premier of your show rather than during. Figuring out what works ahead of time better assures consistency in quality for future episodes.

Find a Quality Guest

Once you figure out what platform you are going to use, it’s time to seek out a guest. Finding a guest is honestly trickier than expected because you don’t want just anyone. You have to seek out someone who adds quality to your show.

A quality guest can be anyone, a friend or a public figure,  but it’s a matter of whether they can contribute to your show. Say your podcast revolves around socializing with coffee, you wouldn’t want your guest to be an advocate for animal rights, it would just be off putting for your listener. Regardless if you personally know them or not, it’s best to reach out your potential guest through their email or direct messages. Keep your request to interview them for your podcast professional and informative but not too overbearing. If they decline, then thank them for their response and move on to messaging other potential guests, if they accept then you are golden!

Research Your Guest

In order to form a general idea of what to expect of your guest during their interview, you need to research them. If you haven’t the faintest idea of who you are interviewing, how are you going to tailor questions for them? This is a real indicator of whether or not you are prepared to interview anyone.

Exploring your guests social media accounts or portfolio websites is taking the right step towards knowing your guest. Online platforms tend to visually reflect an idea of who this person is. If they are open about their personal viewpoints you can find out what they stand for and what they’re against. If they happen to have videos of themselves you will have leverage in familiarizing yourself with their speech patterns, a significant shaping tool of how your interview could go.  Also, if they so desire, you can promote their accounts, website or possible causes at the end of the episode.

Set the Interview Date

After you have a good handle of what to expect of your guest, it’s time to set the date for the interview. It is best to schedule the interview on a day where both of you have at least and hour or two to spare. If, miraculously, both of you happen to have the full day off, that would be ideal, but not a requirement.

You can work out the recording date using scheduling applications. As long as you have your guests’ emails, you should be able to reach them. We recommend Google Calendar and Calendly. These applications effectively keep track of the dates and times of the interview. You most likely will be able to provide a link to the video chatting platform you will be interviewing your guest on.

Inform Your Guest

The final prepping essential is informing your guest of any important information or preparations they need for their interview. We primarily talked about how the interviewer can prep themselves but effectively informing your guest is the glue that holds everything together. If your guest doesn’t know what they need to do or have, then things might not run as smoothly.

Ideally it is more professional to inform your guest as soon as possible through their email or direct messages. First, inform them of what program you will be using to conduct the interview, for instance, Zoom. Next give them an estimate of how long the interview will take. After that, ask them to use headphones and/or a microphone if they can to better assure great audio quality. Advise them to find the quietest possible area and to make sure they turn off their devices during the interview.

With all this essential prep, you should be ready to conduct your first ever podcast interview. Keep in mind that with every first experience comes lessons. Even if it turns out to be the best interview that has ever been conducted, you are bound to improve. Once you finish hosting your first interview, you can only get better from there.

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