A Guide to Podcast Interview Questions (Plus Tips)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published November 8, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Podcasting is a growing field with content that covers various topics. One way to keep your audience entertained while maintaining a unique style is to interview various guests, which can engage your listeners and improve your appeal. Identifying new and unique interview questions to ask your guests can help you create an informative, enjoyable podcast and increase its popularity. In this article, we outline various podcast interview questions, provide tips to create better questions, and review guidelines to help your podcast succeed.
Personal podcast interview questions
Here are some personal podcast interview questions to help you learn more about your guest at the beginning of the interview and make them feel comfortable:
What does your morning routine look like?
What do people misunderstand about you?
How did you meet your partner?
If it's possible to give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice, what's the advice?
How do your parents describe what you do?
What's the best compliment you've ever gotten?
What was your biggest failure, and what did you learn from that experience?
What do you want the world to remember you for as an individual?
What has been your least favourite job to date?
What's a negative comment you received that you're proud of, even today?
What's the most exciting job you ever held?
Who are the three most influential people in your life, and how do they impact you?
What's your favourite childhood memory?
What's your favourite colour, and what does that say about you?
What star sign are you?
Eccentric interview questions
Here are some unique questions you can ask your guest:
What's your biggest pet peeve?
What was your favourite trip you've ever taken?
What was your favourite subject in school?
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
If you can only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what do you choose?
Which historical figure do you want to have coffee with right now?
What do you think the world might look like in five years?
If you were to win ten million dollars tonight, what might you spend it on tomorrow?
If you wrote a book, what topic might you choose?
What do you think the title of your biography might be if your worst enemy wrote it?
Where in the world do you prefer to live?
Career interview questions
Here are some interview questions to ask your guest about their career and professional life:
What's one action the brand took that you didn't expect?
What's another role you think you can perform successfully?
What's a common misconception about your job?
In your opinion, what's the most important personality trait for people to work in your industry?
What's a recurring lesson you learned over your career?
What underrated tools are essential for your job?
What's the biggest challenge for the business right now, and how are you handling it?
What's one lesson your job taught you that you think is essential for everybody to learn?
Who has been your most helpful professional mentor?
What's something few people agree with you about in your workplace?
What's your favourite productivity hack?
Did you always want to work in this profession, and if not, how'd you find yourself in this field?
What industry might you explore if you had the resources to start a new business tomorrow?
What's one piece of advice you'd give to someone entering your profession?
Tips for creating better interview questions
The following tips can help you come up with better interview questions for your podcast guest:
Do your research
It's essential to learn basic information about your guest before the interview. This can help you ask more specific questions, focus on the guest's achievements, and inspire unique question ideas. It's also useful to read about their profession and industry. For example, if your guest is the CEO of a company, you can research their organization and its industry, operations, mission, and goals. Reviewing their social media platforms can help you learn about the company and its views on various topics. You may also tag them in posts asking your listeners to send questions for your upcoming interview.
Conduct a pre-interview
You can conduct a pre-interview before the actual interview to help the guest feel more comfortable and build a rapport with them. The pre-interview also helps you prepare an outline for the interview and can be a networking opportunity to create a professional relationship. In addition, it helps you prepare less-experienced guests and allows you to inform them about what you want to discuss on the interview day.
During the pre-interview, you can ask them point-of-view (POV) discovery questions to learn their unique perspective on various issues. Depending on the quality of their answers, you may also include these questions in the actual interview. Some POV discovery questions include:
Is there a commonly held belief with which you passionately disagree?
What can everyone start doing?
What can everyone stop doing?
What's a new concept you tried in a company that had a surprising outcome?
What failure have you experienced that you think most people can experience?
What's something everyone does that you have a better method for doing?
What's a resource you think people aren't using correctly or to its fullest?
What's a recent achievement that you're very proud of in your industry?
Related: Guidelines on How to Network
Be conscious of your goals
The primary aim of most podcasts is to provide value to your audience. It's important to consider the value you hope they gain from the interview. This can help you determine if you want your guests to be teaching life hacks, promoting their brand, discussing lifestyle changes, revealing academic knowledge, providing comic relief, or commenting on recent social trends. Understanding the narrative that governs your podcast can help you convey your ideas and topics to your audience. Creating clear goals helps you get a clearer perspective, customize your questions, and focus the conversation on achieving those goals.
Find signature questions
An interesting technique to help you keep your podcast unique is creating a signature question you ask all your guests. This question can come at the end of the interview to conclude the episode. It's helpful to use a question that relates to your podcast niche or title. For example, if you host a lifestyle podcast, you can ask your guest to discuss a single point in their life that influenced that career choice or their life goals.
Related: How to Establish a Personal Brand
A unique feature of a podcast that differentiates it from other types of informational media is the interplay between the host and their guests. It may be beneficial for you to take a flexible approach and make creative decisions that deviate from the outline. For example, you can ask follow-up questions if you think it's an interesting angle to follow. In addition, you can listen to your guest actively as they answer the question rather than preparing for the next question. This helps you cultivate an organic conversation with them that sounds authentic to the listener.
In addition, you may consider your guest's perspectives and what they might want to achieve by featuring on your podcast. Thinking from the guest's perspective can help you combine your goals and theirs to create a discussion that interests your audience. It also helps you engage your guests personally.
Guidelines to help your podcast succeed
Here are some tips to help you get the best results with your podcast:
Follow your passion. It's important to choose an idea or niche you're passionate about when creating your podcast. Choosing the area you're interested in can make it easier for you to talk about it because you may have an in-depth understanding of the topics you want to discuss.
Conduct market research. Conducting extensive market research is a valuable tool for new podcasters or those looking to improve their podcast performance. It also helps you reach more listeners, distinguish your content from competitors, and find a unique approach to mainstream topics.
Set an achievable posting schedule. Following a consistent posting schedule helps build your audience and lets them know when to expect a new episode. When creating a schedule, it's important to choose one you can maintain while upholding the quality standards for your episodes.
Use pauses at edit points. It's normal to make mistakes when recording episodes, and editing helps you produce a professional recording. You can use long pauses to help you easily identify edit points and save time editing your episodes.
Create practice episodes. Before releasing podcast episodes, you may record some practice episodes to help you identify technical flaws and get comfortable with recording. Creating and reviewing practice episodes can help you focus on improving your podcast and ensure your official episodes make a strong impression on the audience.
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