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14 Tips for Recording Interviews Professionally - Riverside.fm

Discover 14 effective tips for recording an interview professionally. Up your interview game with these ins and outs of nailing any interview recording.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Published:
February 28, 2023
Last Updated:
January 15, 2024
10
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Recording an interview is a fine art. 

It’s a balance of letting your guest talk while guiding the dialogue to create engaging content. Clearly, this is easier said than done. Recording a professional interview relies on proper equipment, extensive research, a good rapport between host and guest, and some practice. 

We’ve collected 14 tips for how to record a professional interview to help you get started. 

TL;DR

  • You can record a remote, one-to-one, or panel interview. 
  • Using Riverside, recording a professional remote interview is easy & streamlined. 
  • Preparing for your interview is half the work - research your guest, their expertise, and topical issues to discuss. 
  • Always look for remote recording software that lets you record locally. 

What is the best way to record an interview?

You can choose between recording an interview in one of three ways: 

  • Remote (audio or video) interviews over the phone or via a platform like Riverside
  • One-to-one & face-to-face on location or in a studio. 
  • Panel interview. A host conducts an interview with more than one person. 

The best way to record an interview depends on what kind of interview you’re going for. In terms of quality, with tools like Riverside, it’s easy to achieve studio-style results even when you’re interviewing someone remotely. 

What do you need for recording interviews

For a professional-standard remote interview, you’ll need more than just you and your guest: 

Interview recording software

First off, you need software that facilitates high-quality remote recording. This kind of software will often offer other features, such as editing and transcription. 

Interview recording hardware

Secondly, you’ll need to kit yourself (and possibly your guest). Start with a microphone, headphones, and a camera if you’re recording video. 

If you decide to provide your guest with recording equipment, you should consider what this means in terms of logistics and budget. It’s also important to think about how you’ll send this equipment.

Recording space 

Find yourself somewhere to record your remote interview. This should be a quiet environment, preferably with a plain (or branded background), where you can record without interruptions. You should also ensure you have a good internet connection so that you can hear what your guest is saying. Don’t worry, though.  Even if your internet isn’t playing ball, this won’t affect the quality of your final recording if you’re using a platform like Riverside. 

14 Tips for Recording Interviews Professionally

Everyone has their own techniques and interview hacks that work for them. If you’re still figuring out your style, try following these insider tips for professional interviews: 

Preparing for your interview recording

Before you get to the actual interview, there’s a little interview preparation that will make a big difference: 

Do your research

Taking the time to do your research properly seriously pays off when it comes to recording your interview. Researching for an interview means reading up on your guests, their industry, expertise, and experience. You’ll want to look at topical issues related to what you’ll be talking about so that your interview is as relevant as it should be. Knowing your stuff will not only make your interview more engaging and dynamic, but it’ll also help you to prepare your questions thoughtfully and guide the dialogue intentionally. 

Prep your guest 

Prepping your guest ahead of time is a must. This means talking them through what you expect of them and how the recording will work. This should help everything go a little smoother on the day.

Use the right equipment 

Another critical aspect of preparing to record a professional interview is investing in the correct setup. Buying dedicated recording equipment is the best way to ensure your interview is as professional as you want it to be. At the very least, you’ll need: 

Consider also investing in artificial lighting and other accessories like a mic stand. 

You can get some inspiration from our guide to podcasting equipment

Choose Riverside 

The interview recording software you choose impacts your overall remote recording workflow and quality. Choosing Riverside means choosing local recording: each participant’s audio and video is recorded on their own devices rather than over the internet.  This maximizes the quality of your recording and means that you don’t have to worry about your internet connection interfering with your interview. 

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Send your guest equipment

Though this might not be within every podcaster’s budget, sending your interview guest a recording equipment kit is a great way to control the quality of their recordings. If you decide to send them equipment, there’ll be additional logistical and budgetary considerations. 

Recording your interview

Give yourself enough time 

If you can, try to book a comfortable recording slot so you don’t feel rushed on the day. There’s nothing worse than cutting off your guests or feeling like you don’t have enough time to cover anything. Also, giving yourself ample time will ensure you’ve got time to deal with any unforeseen logistical or technical issues. 

Ask the right questions 

Asking the right questions is the crux of doing a good interview. Though you’ll probably have brainstormed most of the questions before, don’t be afraid to ask different ones in response to the organic flow of your conversation. 

Build a rapport with your guest

Though it’s tempting to jump right into the interview, it’s worth taking time to build a relationship with your guest. This will ensure they feel comfortable and at ease, which should come across to your listeners in your interview. 

Keep the pace 

Try to stay disciplined and keep the conversation moving at a balanced rate. You don’t want answers that are too brief, but simultaneously, letting your guest go on for too long is not a good idea. Although finding the balance can be tricky, remember that you can cut and edit the recording to a suitable duration during post-production. 

Get a recording producer 

If you have the budget and depending on the scale of your operation, employing a producer who can toggle the settings and monitor your recording during your interview can make a huge difference. Using Riverside, you can give your producer all the controls over your recording behind the scenes using Producer Mode. They’ll join your sessions, but their audio and video won't become part of the recording. 

Opt for local recording 

Lastly, opt for local recording, where everyone records directly on their devices. This is better than relying on your internet for recording, as connectivity issues can ruin your recording quality.  If you’re using Riverside, this is an automatic part of the recording process. If you’re not, you should use a platform that offers it or a manual workaround. 

Polishing your interview recording

This is a stage where you refine your raw recording and add the finishing touches. 

Edit properly 

Carve out enough time to do your interview justice and edit properly. Whether you outsource your post-production needs or teach yourself how to use your chosen editing software, time taken editing is worth it.

As we mentioned, you can cut and edit your recording to produce an interview recording that moves at an engaging pace and doesn’t drag on for too long. This is also the point at which you can add sound effects or other media that you want to include.

Publishing your interview 

Create a buzz

Creating a buzz around your interview is essential when you’ve published it. Do this by posting preview snippets and clips on socials to give your viewers a taste of what you discuss in the interview. 

Tap in on your guests’ network 

Make sure to encourage your guests to promote the interview to their own followers to maximize your reach. 

Bonus: Don’ts in interview recordings

Even if it’s easy to say what you should do when you’re recording, it’s also good to know what you shouldn’t do:

Don’t stick to your script too much 

In the same way you should ask the right questions, you should avoid feeling tied to your script or planned topic outline. Being too rigid can mean you miss out on organic moments or exciting snippets. 

Don’t lose control 

Though it’s good to let the flow of the dialogue carry the interview - to a certain extent - you shouldn’t let the guest takeover or call the shots. As the host, you should be directing the state of play. 

Recording interviews in high quality with Riverside

Riverside software for recording interviews

Riverside is a browser-based remote recording software that makes recording a professional interview easy and intuitive. Here’s a brief introduction to its main features:

Key features

  • Local recordings. Riverside automatically records each participant locally.  This means you don’t have to worry about your internet connection affecting the quality of your recording. 
  • Multitrack recording. Receive an individual audio and video track for each participant. This gives you more control when you’re editing. 
  • High-quality recordings. Riverside records WAV audio and up to 4k video. 
  • Browser-based & mobile app. You can use Riverside straight from your browser or the free mobile app. 
  • Easy to use. Riverside is intuitive and easy to use, with no learning curve. 
  • Record with up to 7 remote guests. If you’re planning to do a panel interview, you can include up to 7 panelists and 1 host using Riverside. 
  • Progressive upload. Riverside progressively uploads each participant’s audio and video as you’re recording, minimizing the risk of data loss and your waiting time.
  • Text-based video and audio editor. Riverside offers a quick and self-contained option for editing your interview. Its text-based Editor lets you cut your recording, add branding, and rearrange the layout of your interview. 
  • Automatic transcription. Automatically transcribe your video interview with Riverside for quick captions and easy content repurposing. 
  • Social media clips. A huge part of promoting your interview will be posting preview snippets and clips of audio and video. You can create these in just one click with Magic Clips
  • Affordable. The best bit? Riverside is affordable, with a plan available for every budget. You can get started using the Free plan to get a feel for the platform. If you want to upgrade to a paid subscription, it starts from $15 a month. 

How to record an interview with Riverside

Recording an interview with Riverside is easy. Here’s how to get started: 

Host workflow 

Step 1: First, make an account if you haven’t already. Head into your Riverside dashboard and click ‘+ New Studio’

Step 2: Next, give your studio a name and choose whether you’re recording audio only or audio and video. If you’re creating your studio ahead of time, click ‘continue setup studio’ to send your guests the invite link in advance. 

Creating an interview recording studio on Riverside

Step 3: For added convenience, you can choose to ‘schedule’ your studio ahead of time for the time and date you’ve settled on with your guests. 

To send the invite link to your guests, click ‘add participants’. If you don’t want to do this ahead of time don’t worry, you can also send your guests the invite link from your recording studio on the day. 

If you have a producer on your team, you can also send them a special ‘producer invite’. 

Step 4: On the day or when you’re ready to record, . Before you get to your recording studio, you’ll have the opportunity to check your equipment is picking up properly. Once set, select 'Join Studio'.

Checking equipment before recording an interview on Riverside

Step 6: Wait for your guests to join by following the link you share with them. When they’re ready, you can hit record and start your interview. 

Recording an interview on Riverside

Step 7: Once you're done recording, you can end the call, and the site will direct you to a page where you can view your recordings. Here you can download separate audio and video tracks of each participant, or you can use the built-in editor to polish your recording.

It's also possible to generate automatic transcriptions if you're on a paid plan.

Guest workflow 

Guests can join from their browser or using the Riverside mobile app. 

Step 1: Click on the invite that you send them. This will automatically take them to your recording studio. 

Step 2: First, they’ll land in the Lobby where they’ll need to type their name (where it says ‘Guest’). When they’re ready, they can click ‘join’

FAQs on interview recordings:

What are 3 methods for recording an interview?

As we mentioned earlier, you can choose to record an interview remotely using a platform like Riverside, face-to-face, or over the phone. 

How do I ace video recorded interview?

For some people, interviews come naturally - whether they’re the host or the guest. For others, it takes a little practice. Whichever side you relate to,  following our 14 tips for recording a professional interview will set you up for a strong start. You can also read more in our full guide on recording video interviews.

How do you record sound for an interview?

Using Riverside and an external mic, you can easily record professional-grade audio. Send your guest a mic to ensure that their recording quality matches yours. 

What do you say at the end of a recorded interview?

It’s completely up to you. You might want to encourage listeners to tune in to other interviews that you’ve done or engage with the episode on socials. 

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