The One Thing You Need to do To Be a Good Interviewer 

The-One-Thing-You-Need-listen

Podcast Movement 2015 took place recently in Texas and while I unfortunately could not attend due to my pregnancy, I had an opportunity to watch some of the sessions on Periscope. From the little bit I saw online, the biggest highlight was when an attendee asked WTF host Marc Maron his biggest tip for being a good interviewer. His answer was one word:

“Listen”

Stephen Covey writes in “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” that you should seek first to understand, then to be understood. Think about it- when we are in a conversation with someone, most of the time our brain is thinking about what we want to say next. When you’re thinking about what you’re about to say, you cannot also be listening and fully taking in what the other person is saying!

When you have a guest on your podcast, make it your goal to get the guest talking about a topic that truly interests them; a topic that they have a lot to say about and lights them up.

(Side note: This is why I dislike scripted questions and interview shows with a set flow of questions. I believe questions need to be written for each guest personally.)

When you ask that first question and hear your guest start talking, don’t look at your notes, don’t think about what your next question will be, just listen very intently. Your next questions should help the guest dig deeper, clarify something they said or build off of a story they shared.

My last tip is to book guests that YOU are interested in speaking with. It’s really hard to have chemistry with a guest who bores you and when that’s the case your listeners will be disengaged too.

If you work with my team of booking agents at Interview Connections, we can help you figure out what guests are right for you and book interviews on your show that will interest you and make for great interviews! Visit InterviewConnections.com to learn more and get started today.

2 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more and there is such a lack of good interviewers out there.

    A show should be something that firstly: As a listener you feel like you are eavesdropping into something, and for the host you deliver nuggets of gold throughout.

    When those two aspects are delivered then listeners will come back time and time again

    I can never understand with a formatted show how you can find the true gold, when the questions are the same every single time

  2. Thank you, David! You are a great interviewer so I really appreciate this comment coming from you!

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