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Producing Higher-Quality Guest Interviews: Comprehensive Guide

Master guest interviews with our guide. From enhancing experiences to effective communication, learn tips to sound and look your best.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Published:
November 4, 2023
Last Updated:
December 26, 2023
3
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

In the era of virtual connections, remote interviews allow content creators, podcasters, and interviewers to connect and share stories from anywhere in the world. But they also require special considerations and techniques to ensure a smooth and professional production. Here, we'll delve into the key tips and tricks for hosting successful remote interviews, taken from our recent webinar.

1. Elevating the guest experience

The key to facilitating the best possible interviews is to create the best possible experience for your guests. Making your guests feel as comfortable as possible is an essential part of that, and that requires providing them with all of the information that they need upfront. 

Before your interview, send one email with all of the information that they will need, including

  • The date and time of your interview
  • A calendar invite 
  • The expected length of the interview
  • A link to your online recording studio 
  • The topic you’ll be discussing
  • Any interview questions that you have prepared in advance (if you’d like to share them)
  • Any tech questions that you have, like which mic they will be using 

Then, send a reminder email again the day before with this information so that they don’t need to search their email inbox before your interview. 

2. Communicating your goals

Beyond logistics, it’s helpful to ask your guest what they are excited about sharing during the interview, what they’d like to discuss, and what they’re finding interesting in their field right now. If there is anything that they would definitely like to discuss, advise them to write 3-5 bullet points of their key points. That way, if they veer off-topic, this can help direct them back to their main talking points. 

It’s also helpful to share your preferences too, including the overall vibe and tone of your podcast or content. Interview guests will often lean towards presenting their answers in a very professional way, but if you’d like them to be a bit more loose and casual, make sure to let them know, and encourage them to smile, show expression, laugh, and use their hands. 

And a tip to make your guests feel their best: Encourage them to wear something that expresses who they are. This can be their favorite shirt or something that they’ve been complimented on before. The best interviews often come when your guest looks and feels their best. 

3. Warming up before the interview

Creating a positive and supportive atmosphere can help remote guests feel more at ease and deliver their best during the interview. Rather than conducting a pre-interview, we recommend having a “Green Room Conversation.” This is a tactic used in television interviews, where 15 minutes before a guest is set to be on TV, a producer will come and speak with the guest to loosen them up. Try it yourself as the host. Fifteen minutes before your interview, start speaking with your guest about how their day is going, share a funny story of something that happened to you that day, or anything you can do to create a conversational tone. This will help your guest feel more comfortable by the time you hit Record. 

4. Sounding and looking their best

Many remote guests may not be used to interviewing, and with that, they may not have a recording set up in their home or office. If you cannot send a kit to your guests (like a tripod or lighting), you can utilize these tips and share them with your guests:

  • Try to sit facing a window rather than having a window behind you
  • Wear a pair of wired headphones for best sound quality
  • If you do not have a microphone, try using wired headphones that include a built-in microphone
  • For higher-quality video recordings, try using your phone as a camera. If you are using an iPhone and Mac, we recommend trying Apple’s Continuity Camera
  • Record from a smaller room with carpets and curtains to reduce reverb
  • Create a visually appealing background by utilizing bookshelves, plants, or wall art, to add depth and character to your space

Exploring the features in Riverside, try using the picture-in-picture feature to facilitate eye contact between yourself and your guest. This feature not only adds a personal touch to the interview but also helps in establishing a deeper connection with the audience.

The more comfortable and prepared your guests feel, both in what they discuss and how they appear on camera, the more engaging and valuable your interviews will be. So go ahead, try out some of these tips, and see the results for yourself. 

For more in-depth discussion on how to produce high-quality podcasts, interviews and content, check out some of our previous webinars

Want more tips on producing high quality guest interviews? Watch our webinar below. 

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