How to get the most out of your interview – Part 2 Interviewee

It’s finally happened! Someone has invited you to be a guest on their podcast. Very exciting, but also a little scary because it’s the first time that you’ve been an interview guest and you don’t know how to be a good one. That’s OK, we’ve got those tips for you!

In this episode of Elevating Experts, Andy and Louise discuss how to get the most out of your interview – Part Two (Interviewee), but here are some of our top tips:

  • Make talking points, not scripts
  • Ask your interviewer for some general direction
  • Treat it as a conversation, not an interrogation

For more hints and tips to elevate you as an expert in your field, subscribe to our podcast Elevating Experts now.

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Elevating Experts is an Australian short form podcast series, with new episodes released Mondays, where we help content creators and podcasters by sharing tips to improve your skills & simplify your processes, and elevate you as an expert in your field!

About Welcome Change Media:

We make podcasts & help you tell your story.

Our mission is to help people connect through inclusive content that empowers and inspires.

We also work with businesses, organisations and creators to produce branded podcasts that align with your mission.

Contact us today to see if we can help you.

Other projects by Welcome Change Media include:

Willow Tree Manor

That Entertainment Podcast | Adelaide Edition | Brisbane Edition

Any Excuse For Fashion

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About us: Louise Poole and Andy Le Roy.

Louise has worked in Australian commercial radio, media and broadcasting for over 20 years, in on air and brand management roles. Her CV includes hosting 973fm Brisbane, Queensland, morning radio announcer and music director for 8+ years, Content Director of Darwin, Northern Territory radio stations MIX 1049, Hot 100. More info about Louise Poole here.

Andy has over twenty years leadership experience, across a range of fields including broadcasting, aged care and telecommunications. His CV includes Darwin’s top rating drive-time radio program to managing a successful community radio station in Adelaide, South Australia, helping it to expand its community appeal by leading the station to innovate its content. More info about Andy Le Roy here


Episode Transcript:

Andy: It’s finally happened! Someone has invited you to be a guest on their podcast. Very exciting, but also a little scary because it’s the first time that you’ve been an interview guest and you don’t know how to be a good one. That’s OK, we’ve got those tips for you. I’m Andy Le Roy

Louise: and Louise Poole, with part two, of a two part episode on interviewing. this part is for the interviewee. and we’re giving you the insights to help elevate you as an expert in your field.

[Elevating Experts]

Andy: Firstly, congratulations! The fact that you’ve been asked to be a guest on somebody else’s podcast means that the work you’re doing is making a difference and you should be proud.

Louise: And now you’ve got a chance to share that message with a new audience. We already know that you’re an expert in the subject matter that you’re going to talk on and that’s why they asked you to be a part of the show. What we want to do is help you be able to get that message across, so it engages as many people as possible.

Andy: So here are some of our hints and tips to help make you a better interviewee.

Louise: Sometimes you might get lucky and be blessed with an awesome interviewer who instantly knows how to build a rapport with their guest, put you at ease, who’s really organised, sends you all the information that you’ll need, and who it feels like you’re having a great conversation with the whole time. Other times you might get someone who’s a little less experienced than that and that’s OK –  everyone starts somewhere.

Andy: One of the things you can do before recording the interview is to ask plenty of questions of your interviewer so that both parties are clear on the outcomes for the interview, the time frame, how the material is going to be used and what’s going to be discussed.

Louise: To get specific some of the questions that you may need to ask include: how will it be recorded?

Andy: What equipment will I need, if any?

Louise: How long do you expect it will take to record?

Andy: Can you send me a few sample questions or topics you would like to discuss

Louise:  When will my episode be published

Andy: And, do you have any expectation from me to promote my appearance on your podcast?

Louise: Although not always necessary, you can also ask them to set up a time to do a pre-interview, if that makes you more comfortable, maybe via zoom to discuss these questions or test the equipment before the record date.

Andy: A competent interviewer will have no problems addressing any of these questions or concerns for you.  And don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer for some general direction of how they want to see the interview go – is it a more structured Q&A, a conversational style will there be a panel of guests or will you be an insert, dropped into perhaps a more narrative style show.

Louise: Now that you have your sample questions from your interviewer you can start to put together a plan on some anecdotes that you might be able to discuss. The key here is to make talking points, not scripts.

Andy: It might be tempting to write out everything that you want to say and get across in an interview but it’s going to hinder the flow of conversation. And if you’ve got a product that you’re trying to promote you might end up sounding more like an ad than a person. Flexibility is key.

Louise: Let’s say for an example that you’re an author, and you’ve been invited onto the podcast to talk about your new book. Well, it’s not just a chance for you to do a hard sell for your book, it’s an opportunity to engage people and make them want to learn more from and about you.

Andy: Be prepared to share some of your favourite content and stories that are in that book in a conversational tone with the host of the show.

Louise: As a guest do your best to treat it as a conversation, not an interrogation.

Andy: Most interviewers will try and ask you open-ended questions so that they solicit more than just a simple yes or no answer. But sometimes, particularly with the Australian vernacular, we tend to end a sentence with an upward inflection instead of an actual question. That’s something to be on the lookout for because you want to keep that conversation flowing and sometimes a question doesn’t always look like a question. 

Louise: And if your interviewer does ask you open ended questions it’s important to not give closed answers. I can remember in my radio career talking to a very well known Australian singer and having two full pages of open-ended questions and talking points prepped, organised and ready to go and then we got into the interview and blew through those pages in about 5 minutes. Because every open-ended question seemed to get a closed answer from this person. If the question is ‘can you tell me about your new tattoo?’, the answer needs to be better than ‘it’s on my arm’. Needless to say I never agreed to an interview with that person again.

Andy: What about telling me, I mean, us, who that was?

Louise: C’mon you know I can’t, that wouldn’t be fair. I’ve had enough of my rant now, it’s time for your share.

Andy: And because a good interview often sounds like a conversation, if you feel inspired to ask your interviewer conversational style questions as well, I’m sure they’d appreciate that.

Louise: So let’s recap those tips on how to get the most out of your interview.

Andy: Don’t be afraid to ask questions before you record the interview to help you feel more confident and relaxed about the process.

Louise: Make talking points, not scripts. It’s good to think about the topics and anecdotes that you want to prepare in advance, but be flexible with how they are delivered.

Andy: And treat the interview as a conversation not an interrogation.

Louise: Most importantly relax and enjoy! This person wanted to talk to you for your experience and insights and finds value in what you do.