In the last week I've been interviewed and conducted interviews. One of those podcasts was Entrepreneur on Fire  (iTunes)and the other was Urbanism Speakeasy (itunes)Podcast. In today's show I share tips and insights from both sides of the interview.

Podcast Clip of the Week – Your Audience Is Excited When They Find Your Content [3:28]

In episode 5 of the “My Digital Life with Rob Greenlee” podcast (website, iTunes), host Rob Greenlee (who has been on the show before), talks with Nicole Simon, Author, Social Media and Podcast Consultant at from Berlin, Germany about the global aspects of podcasting. In the clip you hear how Nicole felt the first time she discovered podcasting.

Member Spotlight – Cool People Podcast [5:23]

Cool People PodcastIf you're tired of hearing the same people being interviewed over and over, check out the Cool People Podcast hosted by Robert Chazz Chute. Rober has interviewed some “outside of the box” people. These include:
a judge at a marijuana competition
an erotica author who was a judge feminist porn
they talk drugs in America, Middle East politics, if your a cool person you might like it. Check it out at (itunes).

Tips for Doing a Podcast Interview – Being the Host [9:40]

Entrepreneur On FireI was Entrepreneur on Fire podcast with John Lee Dumas. John does a DAILY podcast. That is a lot of work. These are all interviews. That is a TON of work. With this in mind, John needs to run an efficient ship, and when I was asked to be on his show I was really impressed with his work flow.

 John invited me to be on his show two months in advance for a show that will air one month after it was recorded.

By inviting people months in advance, you have a smaller chance of people being “booked.”

John's Invitation Was Straight and To the Point

John's invitation was short, respectful, explained what his podcast was, explained why I was a good fit for the show. It also explained the “tone” of the show (it's all about inspirational stories). It provided statistics of his audience (about 225,000 downloads a month), and provided information to show John as a credible source.

John also let me know how long the interview was, so

John Sent Me a List of Some of the Questions that He Would be Using

By sending me the questions ahead of time it let me be prepared so the interview had great content. It turns out these were not ALL the questions, but it gave me an idea of what type of content fits his podcast.

I previously worried that providing the questions ahead of time would leave me with an over prepared guest who had memorized their answers. I have changed my mind. Provide some of the questions ahead of time. This leaves you room for an honest conversation later during the interview. After all, you don't want the interview to be ruined because you guest is somewhat slow on their feet. For some people this is a nerve wracking situation, and allowing them to be prepared is going to result in better content.

Automate the Scheduling Process

vCitaIf you want to take some of the hassle of scheduling interviews, there are services that allow potential guests to pick the time that suits them best (again stress the time zone you are in so they know ahead of time). Some examples of these include:

John uses to automate his schedule (I use Vcita  (affiliate link)- which has a WordPress Plugin). While you can send requests and such via Google Calendar, this tool really takes the headaches out of the scheduling piece.

Send A Reminder

If you're scheduling months in advance, there is that chance that your guest forgot to put it on their calendar. John's system automatically reminded me, and John sent a personal email making sure we are still on (very cool). IN that reminder, be sure to touch base on the time zone that you are using for the interview. Most scheduling systems have this automated.

Times Zones Will Come Back To Haunt You

When you are setting up the interview time, times zones can come back to haunt you. Be sure to let your guest know what time – and time zone – the interview will be .

Provide Multiple Ways to Contact You

In the future when I do Interviews I'm going to provide my phone number. This way if someone is going to be late they can tell me). If all they have is email, they may not be able to get to a computer to say “I'm going to be late” (not everyone has a smart phone).

Ask the Guest For Clearance

When you setup the interview, before you hit record establish anything the guest does NOT want to talk about. This avoids editing out segments later. Then either do it at the end of the interview (for a verbal version), or have some sort of form for them to sign that states you have the rights to use this content in any fashion you so choose. This will also be the time when you establish if your podcast is explicit or not (do people use “naughty” words).

Urbanism SpeakeasyEdit With Your Audience In Mind

As you can't see your guest (I turn off my video when recording to lesson the load on my computer), you may have a guest “over answer” your question. This is where they answer your question, but since there is a pause they provide additional information that is really not needed.

Leave Giant Blanks if There is a Mistake

If there is an “Edit point” where someone wants to do something over, pause for 10 seconds (it seems like forever) but this can GREATLY reduce your editing time as its OBVIOUS where the edit points are.

Provide a Review Copy if Possible

If possible, provide a copy of the interview before it goes live to your guest. It's not mandatory (unless they ask for one), but its a nice gesture.

Have A Backup Recording Of the Interview

I use PowerGrammo (PC) you can also use Call Recorder (Mac) to record Skype calls. I also have a backup of the recording by using a portable recorder. I plug an 1/8 to 1/8 cable from my headphones out of my computer into the line in on my portable recorder. I then plug my headphones into the portable recorder and when I press record I hear everything. There is nothing worse than having to call someone back and ask to do the interview again.

You are bringing someone on to your show because they have something you don't (why else would they be on your show). While it's a conversation, in the end your guest should do the majority of the talking. It's not always about you.

Be Nice

People have their own networks. Their may be other potential guests that your guest might know who would enjoy being interviewed. Mess up this interview, and they won't be singing your praises to anyone.

Develop a Relationship

Now that you've cracked the door and had a conversation with this person, be sure to check in and stay in touch. It never hurts to have a ton of friends.

Tips For Being Interviewed on a Podcast [29:01]

Know Their Audience – Sample Their Podcast

Everything you do should be done with the audience in mind. If you are not familiar with the podcast, go listen to a few episodes to understand the tone of the podcast.

Make it Easy To Contact You
I didn't mention this one in the show, but make sure your contact information is on your website. Make sure you are checking any email that you are providing as a contact source.

Touch Base Before the Interview

If you haven't received a reminder from the host, be sure to touch base with them before the interview (a week, or a day before) and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Be Prepared – But Not Over Prepared

Yes you want to sound good, professional, and intelligent. However, if you memorize your answers it will be obvious. You may sound like a robot. Think about the audience you are speaking to, and what information will resonate with them. You may want to practice your answers to make sure they come out of your mouth smoothly (again, NOT memorizing, just practicing)

Help Promote Your Appearance

If someone has put you in front of their audience the leas you can do is mention it to your audience. This can be a blog post, a mention in a podcast, twitter, Facebook, or all of the above.

If You Have To Cancel – Cancel Quickly

If life happens, be sure to let your host know immediately that you can't make the interview. This gives them the maximum amount of time to find a guest for your time slot.

Be Nice

People have their own networks. Their may be other podcasts that the host might know who would enjoy having you on their show. Mess up this interview, and they won't be singing your praises to anyone.


Mentioned On this Show

Average Guy Podcast Network

Podcast Roundtable Episode 14 Podcasting in a Niche

Entrepreneur on Fire 

Urbanism Speakeasy


Daily Podcast Tips

Daily Podcast Tips! Put Your Inbox to Work

About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
11 comments on “Scheduling Smooth Podcast Interviews
  1. This is very timely as I have been talking with two different ministries for interviews for my own podcast. I have just signed up for a free account with TimeTrade, and look forward to seeing how that works for me.

    Timezones have proven to be a major headache for me being here in Australia. The time zone that I am in always lists as CST, but what most people don’t realise is that it is Australian CST, not North American CST. For a few Google Hangouts that we have done that has caused a few people to miss out.

    Thanks for everything Dave, I always look forward to the next episode of the School of Podcasting.

  2. Sam says:

    As a fledgling podcaster and, incidentally, someone inspired by John Dumas to start doing so, this was a great interview full of great actionable tips. Great content!

  3. Dave,

    Awesome content as always. I haven’t quite made the leap to interviews yet, though I want to. I was very interested in the “ask the guest for clearance” tip. Do you have any samples or know where I could find a template like that?

    Thanks Steve

  4. Loved the blooper reel. Glad I am not the only one who’s tongue sometimes spotted up late.


  5. Joe Taylor says:

    Dave – What vCita plan do you use?

  6. I used the $12 a month plan. I switched to I hated having to answer emails through their service

  7. Joe Taylor says:

    Thanks Dave. What plan do you use with TimeTrade and do you have an affiliate link?

  8. Got some Great tips as I prep to launch my Podcast soon. Keep up the excellent work Dave. Thank you!

  9. Cristina Favreau says:

    Hi David. Just wondering how you go about having “some sort of form for them to sign that states you have the rights to use this content in any fashion you so choose”?

  10. You can google one, or write your own. I actually often ask them at the end of the recording if there is anything they wouldn’t want me to use. Its kind of an audio release. – Dave

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