What are the best ways to prep a podcast guest?

A good interview is a result of a lot of research that the listeners don’t really see. Asking the right questions does not come natural, you need to have enough information about the topic that your guest is in and about your guest.

Here are the best ides of what you can do to prepare yourself and your guest for the interview that will be the main part of your podcast:

Social media research

This is the first step, you need to know a lot about your guest. Check out his/her social profiles and read what they post. Are they posting their own articles/podcasts/videos?

Read/listen/watch them and make notes about the interesting things that they are sharing so that you can talk to them about them.

Also, check out what they like in their personal life. It depends on what kind of a podcast you are, but it is usually nice to get a couple of personal questions about the guest at the beginning or the end of the podcast. And for this you need to know that your guest just visited Germany or was skinny-dipping in Bolgaria.

Chek out common friends that you have with your guest and contact them, ask them what are the things that they would be interested in asking him/her.

Of course check Linkedin and check all the previous jobs that your guest had, and get the idea if there is anything that you need to ask about that. Were they the same or different as the job that they have now. Is this good or bad? Well, it is always interesting.

Topical research

Now you need to do a lot of research on the topic that will be the main part of your interview. If your guest is in industrial design, you need to go and read a couple of articles on industrial design.

I know that people think that wikipedia is only a basic source of research, but it is always a great start. Wiki articles have a lot of sources, that are links to the most important articles or websites in that vertical. So you can start, but you should NEVER end with a wiki article. If you go and follow those links that you can find there, you will start scratching the surface. You don’t need to be the most knowledgeable person on the topic, but you should still be good enough.


Now you have all the information written down. Now it is time to make a pre-interview.

You need to talk to your guest at least once before you talk to him/her for the recording. Of course you need to set this pre-interview up when you invite your guest. Tell them that it will be shorter than the main interview, but that you like doing it just to cover all your bases. Your guests will be happy to do it, because they will get to know you, test out the equipment and they will know that you are a serious podcaster.

Use the same equipment and technology that you will at the main interview. So you should also record this pre-interview just to see that all the technology works as it is supposed.

Spend some time to get to know the person behind your guest, so that you know what kind of questions you are allowed to ask. Now you can ask about things that you found in the research, but don’t understand them or don’t understand how they fit into the whole story.

And you will get much more insight into the live and work of your guest. But, don’t ask the real questions now. But talk about everything else that is important.

Ask your guest what to ask

This one is pretty obvious, but a lot of people are afraight that they will seem unprepared. After you finish with all your questions at the pre-interview then you can ask your guest, what are the topics that he/she would like to cover. Or just ask them if there are any topics that you missed. 

You have shown that you are prepared and knowledgable enough that you can now ask this question. You don’t want to start the pre-interview with this question. But you can end it, and still seem knowledgable and prepared. 

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