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These days, so many podcasts are interview podcasts, and it’s easy to understand why, the guest brings the content and allows you to keep variety easily.

But in the world of interview podcasts, some will always rise to the top and there is one thing you should be doing to make sure your podcast is one of those at the top.

Your guest may have the content, but they may not know what you want from them, or how your podcast works or may just be nervous so in order to get the most out of your guest you should be making sure to conduct a pre-interview.


So what is a pre-interview?

Well in the basic facts a pre interview is you planning and preparing 10-15 minutes in your schedule to be able to sit, chat with your guest and get the comfortable.

On the surface that sounds like I’m saying you just chat with your guest awkwardly before starting. I’m not.

There are some essential things you should be doing in the pre-interview stage.


Develop rapport

Ok, this one is sort of just chatting though. Spend the time talking so you can find common interests, get to know how your guest will answer questions and generally get a feel for how things will flow. Will they need an extra push or clarification to get them to give an extended response? Pre-interview may just help you figure that out.


Get them used to things

This is also where you can run them through the equipment. If there are surfaces that hands can tap on and your microphones are especially sensitive let them know. If you are going to have an extra guest you can get them used to the headphones and the set up.


Get facts right

This is also a good time to casually check name pronounciations, or facts that you want to bring up but haven’t been able to verify online.

You do not want to be mispronouncing a surname, or title while recording. This can put a handbrake to the chat and really throw off the flow of recording.


Set Expectations and boundaries.

It’s also a really good time to just let your guest know what you are hoping to get from the chat once again. Clarify the topic, see if they think of any more angles in that moment.

Do no rely on the fact you told them everything in email. Some guests won’t have read the full email, others will have forgotten it all.

It’s also good to make sure you check what they will be comfortable with sharing. See if there is anything they do not want to share or talk about. You want to avoid making your guest uncomfortable mid chat if possible, They can end up clamming up and giving short responses because they do not feel safe, so sort it in the pre-interview.


Check if they have any questions

Finally, there may be something they are nervous about, or unsure about. Just check and see if there is anything at all they are wondering BEFORE you start recording.


You can also do this on the phone before hand, but honestly make sure you get it done regardless. It all adds up to a fair chunk of time and a lot of it is stuff you will have to do regardless. If you haven’t factored it in when booking the guest they may have somewhere else to be and have to cut your interview short.

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