Podcast: How to conduct a successful interview?

The content of a podcast often consists of an exchange between two people: the producer of the podcast and his guest. It is this dialogue between these two people that will generate real interest on behalf of the listener. The interviewer must get the interviewee to confide in him or herself, recount his or her experience, and share his or her testimony. It is what the guest says that is interesting. But it is up to the interviewer to know how to provoke confidence, create an atmosphere by asking the right questions at the right time. For a successful podcast with a guest, you have to prepare and edit the questions carefully. The work is done in several stages. This is what we will see in this article.

Personal preparation: an in-depth work

You have chosen your guest, the place and recording time are fixed. But don’t come without preparation. Find out as much as possible about your guest and prepare your introductory statement (a short presentation) and a series of questions. A tip: choose the main theme and develop your questions according to this theme. Your questions should not go in all directions but should be in a logical order. Another important point: make sure that your questions cover all aspects of the topic that will be discussed with the guest.

Preparing with the guest: some adjustments

Is the recording scheduled to take place in a few minutes? Still take some time off-mic to discuss with your guest and explain the topic(s) you wish to discuss with him/her. Don’t hesitate to give him/her your questions in advance, even if you have to remove or add questions according to his/her requests. The podcast is not a trap interview. Don’t forget that the objective is to put your interviewers at ease. In addition, some guests, anxious when speaking into a microphone, will be reassured and more relaxed if they know how they will be questioned.

Recording: like live!

Time to record. This is the most important but often the most enjoyable moment after the somewhat tedious period of preparation. Our tip: Pretend the show is live and try to record your podcast in one take. Keep going through the presentation and all the questions without stopping, this will make the final version look more natural. However, if you or your guest stammers or hesitates for a moment, just pick up the question and start again quietly. You’ll erase all those little flaws during editing.

Editing: don’t overdo it!

That’s where you’ll add the intro and extro but above all, you’ll cut out all the useless little moments and the mumblings mentioned above. The podcast works well over a long period of time: in other words, you can leave a few hesitations. Don’t cut off any little time-out at the risk of having a sequence that is too edited and therefore a bit artificial.