There are hundreds of ways to make a podcast great, ranging from the quality of equipment to how the podcast is edited. However, when it comes to interview-style podcasts, the person being interviewed has the biggest impact on the success or failure of the episode.
Is the interviewee excited or subdued? Using headphones or an external speaker? Are they having a bad day? These seemingly small factors can make or break the episode.
Since the interviewee is so crucial to the success of the show, we wanted to provide you with 6 Tips to Be a Rockstar Interviewee:
1. Energy - If you aren’t energetic, fake it and raise your passion level about 3X.
Just because you’re a guest, doesn’t mean you can’t set the tone of the interview. By being energetic, enthusiastic, and engaged, you help the host to deliver a riveting interview, while keeping their listeners engaged. If you’re feeling nervous going into the interview, or are not a naturally high-energy individual, communicate this to your host so that they can prompt and queue you up well throughout the duration of the interview.
2. Restate - Restate the question in your answer.
As simple as this is, restating the question helps the audience to follow the conversation providing them a better overall listening experience. Additionally, it helps queue you up to deliver an answer in a concise and engaging way.
3. Have Fun - Smile and have fun.
I get it. When you’re feeling nervous and/or you’re interviewing for business, rather than pleasure, it’s easy to forget to have fun and enjoy yourself. That being said, having fun with the interview and making the most of the opportunity is critical to being a rockstar podcast interviewee. Shift your mindset or perspective, look at the glass half full, and go into the interview ready to have a great time and you will.
4. Conversation - Make it conversational.
It is better to sound like two people passionately sharing ideas and tips over drinks than two people having a scripted and canned interview for work. A great interview sounds and feels like a conversation… Now, this doesn’t mean asking your host the same question posed to you, but, queuing up or prompting your host to share their own experience or expertise around the topic being discussed certainly helps to keep the conversation moving and flowing naturally. Be curious about your host, and have a real conversation.
5. Messing Up - If you mess up majorly, we can edit, but we try to leave it raw which gives the podcast a more realistic feel.
No one expects you to have a perfect interview. And remembering that can help to take some of the pressure off of you. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, because it can actually help the interview to feel more authentic, and like a conversation. Plus mistakes are bound to happen, just own them for what they are. Whether that means laughing about it, or going back to correct it, do what feels most natural for you. And don’t forget that if a major mistake is made, it can easily be edited out in post.
6. Equipment- Headphones and Mic.
When it comes to podcasts, audio quality is critical. If you’re not on-site with your host for an in-person interview, this means having the right equipment. You don’t necessarily need to go out and buy podcasting equipment, but this does mean doing your part to make sure you are prepared and using the best of what you have available. Find a quiet place to record. Make sure your wifi signal is not going to go out unexpectedly. And use a high quality microphone and headphones if you have them.
If you’ve ever hosted an interview, or listened to an interview with a disengaged guest, you know the impact the interview can have on making or breaking the show. That’s why as an interviewee, it is critical for you to do your part in making the interview memorable, engaging, and fun for your host and the listeners. The best part is, by doing so, you’ll also have a fantastic time.