Podcast Guest Checklist: Get Great Interviews By Prepping Your Guests

So you’ve lined up an amazing guest for your next episode that you know your audience will love. You’ve managed to book an hour in the diary that works for both of your busy schedules. 

The day arrives.

The first ten minutes are spent with your guest fiddling with settings to get connected to your call and to get their mic working properly. You spend the next ten minutes giving your guest a run down on what to expect from the interview. Now you’re tight on time and you’re both feeling less relaxed than you’d like to be. You get the call recorded though, and your guest dropped plenty of golden insights!

man in black jacket holding black corded computer mouse podcasting

That evening, you listen back to the recording and notice that every time you speak there’s a distracting echo! Your editor lets you know that unfortunately this can’t be removed completely without damaging the dialogue.

You get an email the next day from your guest. They realised that they left out a key call-to-action and they’ve had to send it over in a separate file.

Ugh. This could have gone better. And this may seem a bit extreme but I’ve listened through plenty of podcast episodes where I can tell that at least half of these issues have occurred!

That’s why I’m sharing this Podcast Guest Checklist with you. Read on to find out all of the things that you need to cover with your guest before the day of recording to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the day and that your episodes are set up for success.

Podcast Guest Checklist

1. The Basics

✅ Time and Date

This seems like an obvious one, but make sure that your guest knows exactly when the call will take place. Even if it’s booked in the calendar, it’s worth sending a reminder the day before. Also, double-check where they’ll be calling from and if there’s any time zone difference.

✅ The Show

Your guest may already know plenty about your podcast. If not, explain what the purpose of your show is and who your audience is, so that your guest knows who they’re speaking to. You can also share a link to a recent episode.

2. The Techy Stuff

✅ Microphone

Does your guest have a recently tested microphone? If they’re using a built-in laptop mic or they’ll be calling from their mobile phone, would they consider buying or borrowing a dedicated microphone to ensure quality sound?

✅ Headphones

Your guest will need to wear headphones or earphones to avoid causing the ‘echo’ effect that occurs from the mic picking up the audio from the speakers.

✅ Noise Free Recordings

Ask your guest if they can record from a quiet area. Request that they turn off sound and vibrate on their phone and remove anything that could cause unwanted sounds on the recording such as rustling jackets or jangly jewellery. 

✅ Backups

You’ll be making sure that you’re recording the call and ideally you’ll be recording your local audio as well with audio software such as Audacity. But is your guest recording too? If your guest can, request that they also hit record on their end so you have a backup.

✅ Network Connection

A poor network connection can ruin an interview. Make your guest aware that they will need to be on a stable internet connection.

3. The Content

✅ Show Structure

Advise your guest about the structure of your podcast so that they know what to expect.

✅ Questions

Are there common questions that you ask every guest? Consider sending these over beforehand so that they’re not put on the spot. There’ll still be plenty of room for an evolving discussion on the day.

✅ Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Suggest that your guest has a call to action ready for the end of the episode, such as a pitch for their book and where to find it, or where your listeners can follow them. 

Happy Podcasting!

This may seem like a lot to have to go through with your guest. But if you systematize it by putting together your own personalised podcast guest checklist document that you can send out to every guest once they’re booked in, it will make the process so much easier in the long run.

I know you want your podcast to sound amazing and you want to get the most out of your guests. And I’m sure most of your guests will be willing to put in the effort on their end, too. After all, they will want to sound their best too, and may not have the same podcasting experience that you do.

Do you know any other podcasters that have guests on their show? Please share this with them so that they can get the most out of their interviews too!

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