Planning an interview-style Podcast? Advice for Newbies

Are you planning to do interviews on your podcast?

Are you wondering how to get the best from your guest so that they tell you things they haven’t said in other interviews and you really form a connection in the limited time you have? 

You have two choices: 

  1. Do a Pre-Interview
  2. Send questions in  advance 

Pre – Interview 

This is a scheduled call separate from the actual interview, you chat with your potential guest to see if the conversation flows. Are they as good as they look on paper?

Can you draw them out to give more than the standard answers? 

The pre-interview is not you testing your guest, you also have to do your part to probe into the info they gave you. Then you can decide which way you take the interview. 

I love pre-interviews and have gotten some fantastic stories out of my guests which with permission have made their way into the podcast.

 

Pre-interviews allow you to delve into childhoods, memories, and the stuff that never makes it into a bio. 

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So what are the PROS and CONS of doing a pre-interview?

  • You get to know more about your guest 
  • You can create a warmer connection before your real interview 
  • It can help put nervous guests at ease 
  • Guests can ask all the questions they want and not eat in to interview time 
  • A chance to remind them to wear headphones (wink, wink) 
  • Get to know more who they are more than what they do.
  • Pre-interviews take some planning 
  • Some guests can think it takes too long 

Sending Questions in Advance 

Before the interview, you send your guest a list of the questions you want to  ask or an outline of the episode with the general topics you want to cover. Please note there is no right or wrong way it is about what suits you. 

So what are the PROS and CONS of doing a pre-interview? 

  • Your guest will know what to expect 
  • The guest can be better prepared 
  • Saves a lot of time 
  • Guests can get to the point quickly (not always a good thing!)
  • Guest can sound so rehearsed that it a bit robotic 
  • The interview can sound exactly the same as the last interview your guest did 

So which should you choose? 

Whichever suits your podcast best. My podcast is a conversation I’m learning about each individual and their lives, so I like doing a pre-interview it puts my guests at ease and we speak so easily when we do the interview.

The pre-interview suits the tone of my show. 

Tell me which you prefer? Do you do either or do you just jump in?

Leave a comment below. 

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