2 Steps To Powerful Interviews – Episode 093


Two Steps To Powerful Interviews – Episode 093

Little Big Town

Last week, we discussed the #1 priority of your interviews. That episode was part one of a series on interviewing.

This week, I would like to share with you the two steps to take in order to create powerful interviews.

Over the 25 years I have been on the radio and coaching radio talent, I have had the opportunity to interview many, many people. More importantly, I have had the chance to discuss the art of interviewing with celebrities, managers, coaches, consultants, radio talent and many others in the industry.

Time and time again, I hear the same thing. There are two elements that create successful interviews. Now, you can use these two steps to create great interviews on your podcast.

Don’t Ask That Question

If you have a decent guest on your podcast, they have probably been interviewed many, many times about the same subject. Popular guests often get bored with the same questions being posed to them over and over again. To make your interview truly engaging for all involved, find unique ways to ask questions that serve the guest as well as the listener.

Often, you will hear a host ask their guest stale, typical questions. You know the questions. “So, how did you come up with the name of your latest project?” You may hear them ask, “What have you been up to lately?” Guests truly dread these questions. They serve no real purpose, yet everyone asks them.

I have had musicians confide in me off the air how much they hate doing radio interviews, because they are all the same. When I once asked a question taken from the band’s website, my guest said, “Oh, I see you’ve read my bio.” He called me out right there on the air. Most hosts take the easy way out and just skim the bio or news release and take their questions straight from there.

Using typical methods lead to stale questions. “When does your album come out?” “Where did you get the name for the band?” “How did you guys meet?” Pop group Ben Folds Five began making up answers for the question “Where did you get the name for the band?”. In fact, they almost had a different answer every time the question was asked. They had to make the interview interesting for themselves.

Every guest is looking to benefit in some way from the interview. Usually, they have come on a show to promote their latest book or new product. You can help them do that without asking painful questions.

Let’s say you are interviewing a musician who has a new album coming out on July 1st. You ask, “When does the new album come out?” Your guest will instantly think, “Didn’t this guy do any homework before he set up this interview?” Your guest will also be saying in his head, “Oh, not this line of questioning again.”

Instead, make your questions interesting. Ask, “When you album comes out on July 1st, what will you be doing to celebrate?” You could also ask, “The album is released on July 1st. Who have you slipped some advanced copies to?” How about asking, “When the album hits stores on July 1st, where will you go buy your first copy?” Believe me, every artist buys a copy of their first album in the store. They just want to see it on the shelf.

By asking creative questions, you’ve helped the guest promote their goods without sounding stale. You have also avoided the mistake of stealing their answer. Be unique.

Country artist Little Big Town was recently a guest on my show. By reading information about the band on the internet, I knew all four members have kids. I also knew all of the kids travel with them when they tour. I could have asked, “What are the names of your kids.” How about, “Is it fun traveling with the kids?” I’m sure they get asked all of the time.

By getting a little creative, I asked the members of Little Big Town, “When the kids travel with you guys, what is the craziest kid thing you have on the bus?” They had just purchased a new kiddie pool for the summer that would fit on top of their gear. They also have a pink pottie for toilet training. It gave them a great opportunity to talk about their kids without asking the same, lame questions.

Keep your interview engaging. Be creative. Find unique ways to ask questions that serve the guest as well as the listener. By all means, don’t ask that question.

Did You Really Hear That?

When you are conducting an interviewing on your podcast, really listen to the answers your guest is giving. Don’t be in such a hurry to move on to the next question. Engage with your guests in order to make your show engaging for your listener.

I’m sure you probably think you are listening. In reality, you are probably thinking about the next great question you can ask. Even if you aren’t asking it, you are preparing the question in your head.

Stop. Be in the moment. Really listen to the answer of your guest. Let the answer spark your next question. If you truly listen to the answer, you will then ask the next logical question your listener is asking in their head.

When you are more concerned about the next question rather than the answer coming your way, you will miss the magic. Your guest could be giving you great question leads that you won’t find in their bio, on their website or in their news release.

If you don’t make it through your entire list of questions, nobody will know but you. The goal of the interview is to engage your audience. It doesn’t matter if that takes three questions or twelve from your list.

In every interview, intently listen to the answers. Did you really hear that?
To create powerful interviews, ask unique questions and then actually listen to the answers. Your podcast interviews will improve and be better than most other interviewers in your niche. Using these two steps will help you create engaging content and a respected podcast.


I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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