Expert Advice Before Your First Time Conducting a Podcast Interview

Welcome to the #365Firsts Podcast and the Expert Advice Before Your First Time Series. The show aims to encourage, prepare, and inspire you to do things you’ve never done before and complete your #365FirstsChallenge list. 

In each episode of this series, we give you tips and advice to set you up for success, for specific firsts and new experiences. The guests and topics are as varied as the options and possibilities of new experiences. 

Whether you’re trying to learn a new skill, improve your health and happiness, work on your self-development, add excitement and adventure to your life, or simply have first times, you’re going to love our podcast.

In This Episode

Today, we’re looking at a topic that’s personally important to us as it absolutely applies to the execution of #365Firsts Podcast Show. We’re going to be going over what you need to know about conducting a podcast interview for the first time. 

We’re lucky enough to be joined today by Andrew Alleman, who is a certified expert in the podcasting world. In this episode, we looked at everything you need to know about how to conduct the best interview possible with your guests. 

The advice in this episode is twofold – it’s relevant for both interviewing guests and being a guest on a podcast. If you’re looking for advice on how to start your own podcast, we’ve got an episode on that too and you can find that here.

The Guest Expert 

Andrew is a bonafide podcast expert, and he started his website PodcastGuests.com in 2016. 

After spending ages trying to find new, interesting guests for his podcast, he was inspired to start Podcast Guests as there was a huge gap in the market for a service that connected intriguing guests with podcast hosts. It’s a fantastic service, and one we’ve personally used before with our own show.

Ever since then, the service has grown to over 17,000 members and has helped to support thousands of guest bookings. It’s an incredibly innovative service, and worth checking out if you’re either an aspiring guest or a hopeful podcaster. 

Andrew has conducted over 250 interviews for his own podcast, called Domain Name Wire, including interviews with CEOs of public companies and entrepreneurs like Matt Mullenweg, creator of WordPress. 

He truly is a powerhouse in this industry, and we’re lucky to have him on the show to speak with us about this topic.

What You Need To Know About Conducting A Podcast Interview For The First Time

Andrew started off the episode by discussing his first interview on his own podcast. He noted he chose his first guest based on the fact he knew them personally, and that they weren’t at a fame level that could interfere or distract from the success of the interview. 

Starts with Someone You Know

This meshes with his advice for people starting out on their first adventures into podcast interviews. Don’t start out with huge names or by chasing famous people to come on your show – make sure to start with attainable, realistic guests to help you feel more comfortable, which will be better for the show as well.

Establishing your Interview Style

To establish your interviewing style, Andrew suggested interviewing yourself in front of the mirror has a great way to start off. It helps to prepare yourself for the sound of your own voice, and to help you understand how to anticipate the flow of a real interview, too. Another great reason to do this is that it highlights vocal tics, like saying ‘um’ or ‘you know’. 

Aspiring podcasters should try to get onto other podcasts first. Andrew noted this is a great way to understand the medium more, be exposed to other’s interview styles, and a way to learn about the technical process behind podcasting.

Prepping your Guests and Yourself

In terms of preparing a guest, Andrew said this is one of the most important part of having a successful interview. He starts out by sending a preparatory email with a comprehensive overview of the show plan and the technical requirements to his guests, to help them understand what to expect and is required..

Andrew then moved on to discuss his personal preparation style, and started off by discussing his email conversations between him and the guest. Then, he noted that he uses this information to create a main plan for the interview – roughly 5-6 bullet points – and then prints out a hard copy to use in the interview.

If you’re going to send the questions, it’s important to make sure they’re detailed enough to prevent surprise questions, but vague enough, to prevent any over-rehearsed answers. It’s a fine balance and it’s something gets easier with practice. Planning out follow-up questions and extra tidbits to add into your interview helps as well.

If you are seeking to be a guest on a podcast, Andrew highlighted the importance of a having an up-to-date one sheet, that notes your expertise and available topics to discuss. Additionally, guests can include sample questions, to help the host hone down their interview and show off what questions they could answer.

What to Do During the Interview

It’s normal for people to get flustered while conducting their first few interviews, especially if they’re new or it’s their first time. If you do this – don’t worry! Your audience will not know you’ve messed up. Just keep moving along at a steady pace and follow your outline. 

Some interviews just don’t work, as guests can be nervous or scared about public speaking. This is important to be aware of, and it’s vital to be patient when this does happen. Open ended questions are essential, but yes/no questions can be simple ways to keep an interview trucking along if you’re struggling to make progress. 

Starting over or re-recording is an option and normal, it’s good to let your guest know it’s possible since that helps in relaxing them. Just remember to leave adequate pauses where relevant, to make it easier for editing. Proper editing work can make all the difference in the world and improve the quality of your show.

Pitching to Get Guests

Pitching guest appearances on your show can be difficult, especially when you first get started because you don’t have archives for your potential guest to refer to or a high download rate. However, when you send a pitch out, remember to tailor it to your guests interests and highlight that you’re giving them a platform to promote themselves on. It’s also easier to book guests who have already been on a podcast, so Andrew recommends you start there.

If you’re waiting on a response from a particular guest, Andrew recommended giving them a week before booking someone else in. Don’t give up on the first guest though, it’s possible you could find another way to work with them.

Getting rejections from potential guests can be hard, but Andrew encourages people to keep the door open to potential guests and reach out to them eventually, in perhaps a year. Don’t burn your bridges for the sake of it, stay positive and keep trying.

In closing

Generally speaking, podcasts are a wonderful way to interact with an audience and learn more about new topics. If you’re looking to conduct an interview, make sure to do your research and prepare accordingly – and don’t get disheartened if you’re facing rejection or tricky interviews. Podcasting can be hard, but it’s ultimately very rewarding.

Get In Touch With Andrew 

This was a very interesting episode to record, and it was great to chat with Andrew about his work in more depth. His website is PodcastGuests.com , and his social media links are;

If you want to get in touch with Andrew to learn more about his work, we’re sure that he would be more than happy to speak with you.

How To Reach Us

We’re always happy to hear listener feedback and topic suggestions are always incredibly welcome for this show. Community is at the heart of what we do as a business, so we would be happy to hear any feedback from you.

Are there particular topics that you’d like to learn about, or an area of your life that you want advice on? Is there something that you think we could be doing better? Feel free to get in touch with a member of our team at contact@365firstschallenge.com today.

What’s Coming Up Next Time?

New episodes of Expert Advice Before Your First Time are released each Tuesday and Thursday, and we’ve got a fantastic roster of expert guests lined up to give you more advice. 

In our next episode, we’ll be speaking with Lisa Concepcion on the 11th about cohabitating for the first time. After that, we’ll be speaking with Michelle Velasquez on the 13th about proposing for the first time.

You can listen and subscribe on Apple, Google, or Spotify. While you’re there – please lMake sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode, you can listen and subscribe on Apple, Google, or Spotify. While you’re there – please leave a review if you can. It really does help us out with our work, and each review is truly appreciated.

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