Have you ever been asked to be interviewed on a podcast, radio program or YouTube series?
If so, congratulations! It’s clear whoever asked believes you will be able to educate or entertain their audience.
While most of the research and heavy lifting falls on the shoulders of the interview host, it’s still a good idea for you – the interviewee – to do some prep work and ultimately ensure the interview is a success.
Here are three tips to help you crush your next interview.
Do your research
Prior to the interview, it’s a good idea to do your homework. If possible, listen to previous interviews the host has conducted to get a sense of the show’s format.
There are several other things to research as well. What is the average length of an episode? Will the interview be video, or just audio? Is the plan to do a prerecorded conversation or live interview? What types of questions does the host typically open with? What types of questions does the host typically close with?
By doing this type of research, you’re far less likely to be surprised or rattled during the conversation, and you can simply focus on delivering great answers to the questions you’re asked.
Find out topics to be discussed
Check with the interview host about what topics or themes he/she is looking to explore during the conversation.
With that said, I don’t think it’s wise to have a list of every single question the host is going to ask in advance.
When you know all of the questions, it’s tempting to overthink and rehearse your responses. Even if the interview doesn’t include video, an audience can tell if a guest is delivering a canned response or a genuine answer. By understanding the overall themes the host plans to explore, you’ll reduce the likelihood of being thrown off while still enabling enough spontaneity to have an authentic conversation.
Another reason you don’t want to bank too much on a certain set of questions getting asked is that good hosts will often ask follow-up question, or perhaps veer the conversation in a different direction depending on your response. As a guest, you should anticipate this possibility so you don’t freeze when asked.
Prepare your equipment and background
Guests who have clear video and crisp-sounding audio somehow come across as more intelligent.
I’m not suggesting you can’t do an interview without professional equipment; however, if you’re going to be doing several interviews it may be a worthwhile investment. Even if your only equipment option is a laptop with an internal camera and microphone, you can still take a couple extra steps to ensure the quality is as good as possible.
If the interview includes video, pick a space to record that isn’t cluttered and has a nice background. If you’re using an internal laptop microphone, be aware of where specifically the microphone is located and be mindful not to make noises that could be distracting to the audience.
I’ve witnessed a few interviews where guests constantly rub their hands against the keyboard creating a loud, irritating sound. If you’re using a headset with a built-in mic, ensure your hair isn’t brushing up against it (thankfully, this is a problem I don’t run into).
I hope these tips help you ace your next interview!
If you’re interested in learning more about Impactful Communication in general, subscribe to my YouTube channel.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.