How to Be a Great Online Interview Host

How to Be a Great Online Interview Host

Interviewing experts online (whether just recorded and posted online, or through a radio show or podcast) is a great way to be seen not only as an expert yourself but also as a person of influence. Okay, maybe you won’t be interviewing a famous movie star anytime soon (but then again, maybe you will!). But no matter who you’re interviewing, you and your guest deserve to create the best experience for yourselves and your listeners.

Here are some steps to include in setting up and conducting your interview to help ensure a successful outcome.

Planning is Key

Begin the planning process as soon as possible, absolutely no less than 2 weeks ahead. Start with the end in mind – determine your purpose and/or goal for the interview. On a road trip, if you don’t know where you want to go, how will you know how to get there? Planning your interview is same concept. That includes selecting someone who will be a good fit for your business. The topic should fit in with your overall business strategies as well as theirs – not a competitor, but someone who complements your business with the same ideal clients, values, etc.

I’ve broken the planning process out into 3 sections: pre-interview, the day of the interview, and post-interview.

Pre-Interview

•    Confirm with the person you’re going to interview, and set the date and time right away, since everything else hinges on that.
•    Get as soon as possible from your guest the information you’ll need to create a landing page and promote the interview, such as the title, their biography and photo, and a description of what will be discussed. You can also ask them for questions they want you to ask.
•    Schedule the call on a conference line.
•    Hold a practice call to make sure you’re familiar with the software and the timing. The more familiar you are with the software, the less chance of technical problems.

Promote, Promote, Promote!

•    Post the interview on Eventbrite
•    Create a Facebook event and post an update
•    Post on LinkedIn
•    Create several tweets based on the questions that will be asked
•    Send out invitation emails to both of your lists
•    Include as an article in your newsletters
•    Ask joint venture partners to email to their list in exchange for doing something for them

Tips for Preparing the Script

•    Share the script (including any updates) with your guest and include all information related to the call, including the call-in info for yourself as host and your guest.
•    Write out the questions, and answers if your guest has provided them, whether in outline or in full.
•    Practice, practice, practice the script so it sounds natural and not like you’re reading; you want it to sound like spontaneous dialogue.
•    Send a reminder email with call-in details.

The Day of the Interview

Before the Interview

•    Send a final reminder email to registrants no less than an hour before, and include their call-in info once again. You can prepare and schedule this ahead of time.
•    Send handouts if applicable (or send with a reminder the day before if they need time to look at/work with it ahead of time), but not earlier than you think they need it.

During the Interview
•    My view is that a dialogue makes for a better interview rather than being all one-sided by the guest. Add your own comments and follow-up questions where appropriate. Most of all, LISTEN so you can respond on the fly.
•    Try to sound a little overly enthusiastic. It will come off as just right over the phone, and it will help your guest have energy.
•    Keep the call length to what you promised – this is simply being courteous to your guest and attendees.
•    If you have live attendees, save questions from attendees until the end or your schedule can get derailed.

Post-Interview

•    Send a follow up thank you email to registrants with the recording info and link to your guest’s offer/website (whatever they provide).
•    Send your guest an email thanking them again and give them your landing page URL so they can send people there from their website – this creates good reciprocal action.

Your Next Steps

1. Download my free “How to Be a Great Interview Host” tip sheet with all these tips and more so you can refer to them at any time. Check out the other resources on that page too!

2. Contact me:

  • For a no-cost half-hour session to discuss how I can help coordinate any or all of this.
  • If you’re interested in being a guest on my Ask the Experts series, or if you’d like to talk about having me as your interview guest.

My phone and email are on the Contact page, or you can send me a note using the form.

Deidra Miller
Administrative and Marketing Consultant

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2 Responses to How to Be a Great Online Interview Host

  1. Great article Deidre! Thank you! Z

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