Host Your Very First Podcast Interview Like a Pro

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a post called, “Preparing for your First Podcast Interview.” It provided tips to first-time podcast guests.  This week I’d like to offer some advice to new podcast hosts.

As a new host, you may be feeling a bit nervous and excited about hosting your first interview. That’s great! It is an exciting time. I firmly believe that preparation is the key to tackling any nerves you may be feeling.  Follow the tips below and you’ll be feeling less nervous and more confident going into your first interview.

  • Familiarity goes a long way – if this is truly your first podcast interview, start out interviewing someone you like, know and trust. My very first podcast interview was with my mother (yes, my mom!), a client and a very sweet business associate of mine. You can listen to my very first podcast interview, here (recorded way back in 2008!). Go into your interview with the mindset of - this is just a conversation between friends. Interview people you know, at least for the first few episodes. Doing so will help you to solidify the “conversation with friends” concept firmly into your psyche. Then, once you realize the interview process is simply a conversation and not something intimidating, scary or complex – branch out to interviewing others.
  • Do your research – Researching your guest well before you even invite them to be on your show, is important! Don’t skip this step. You want to have a good idea for a show topic first, once you have that, research various people that you think might fit into that topic well. Then go one step further to see if they are someone you may be able to connect with during a conversation.  View their social media profiles. Do you get a sense that they are a person you might like to hang out with and do they offer resourceful information to their followers? If the answer is yes to both of these questions – add them to the list of people you would like to interview. Always have a short list of people to invite, by the way. It will come into play when you start inviting guests. See the next point for further clarification.
  • Start inviting guests, don't doubt yourself – A lot of times, new podcast hosts question whether or not they should invite a particular person onto their show. Doubt creeps in, well before you even send an email invitation! It's not uncommon to think things like,  “Oh they may be too busy,” “They’re too high profile and would never want to chat with me,”or “I bet they’ll say no, why bother?”  Stop that!  Don’t overwhelm yourself with doubt!  Guess what? The worst thing that can happen is that they say, "No." No big deal. Simply move on to the next person on your list. Chances are though, they will say yes. People love to talk about their business and more importantly, they love to talk about a topic they are passionate about.
  • Your interview is scheduled; research some more – Your interview is scheduled. Awesome! Prior to your call, it’s super important to have an idea of what you will talk about with your guest. One thing you should always do is create a list of questions you would like to ask. This is where additional research will come in. Look at their website and social media profiles again – this time formulate questions that highlight their expertise and passion. Generic questions are okay – but the real magic happens when you can show your guest that you’ve done your homework and have taken an interest (a true interest) in them and what they do.
  • Finally, be 100% involved in the interview and ask follow-up questions – Being 100% involved in the conversation, when it comes to the actual interview, is the single most important thing you can do. Turn off any distractions – cell phones, music, etc. If you are able to turn off your computer, do it. If not, be sure all email, social media and other notifications are turned off. Listen to your guest, ask follow-up questions about something they've just said and truly give your time to them. They’ll notice and end up becoming more relaxed, thus making your interview that much more enjoyable, fun and easy to do. So much so, you'll be hyped to do another one again, soon!

Good luck. I know you will do great! Questions or comments about this post? Leave them below.

Check out my newest podcast, The Inspired Entrepreneur’s Guide for guest interviews and more.

Need help with producing your podcast? Learn how I can help or let’s chat!

Next time, I'll write about what to do if you run into technical difficulties during an interview or how to handle a major goof-up. Hint: you can recover, I'll tell you how.