How to Be A Better Interviewer than Barbara Walters with Jason Suel
Updated: Sep 21
[00:03:30] What are you obsessed with?
Jason: The Institute by Steven King
[00:11:30] About Jason Suel
[00:15:05] How do you make someone feel comfortable in an interview?
[00:17:00] How do you be a good host?
[00:21:20] How do you develop interview questions?
[00:22:45] How do you handle a dud of a guest?
[00:30:50] Advice for Those New to Interviewing
[00:33:00] What’s Next for Jason
[00:38:00] Rapid Fire Questions
Hosting guests on your podcast can be intense and quite frankly, stressful. Oftentimes, getting them to appear on your show is the easy part, the next steps sending you straight into the unknown. Don’t know what to say or do? These tips will get you on the road to interviewing like a pro.
Make Your Guests Comfortable
When you first meet someone who will be on your show, it is vital to make them comfortable. When they are comfortable with you, the setup, questions, and any other individuals involved in shooting, they will be able to open up more and the interview will flow more organically. To help with this, make sure you gauge where they are at upon arrival. Are they nervous? Confident? Meet them where they are at and prepare from there. Once the interview begins, it is your job as a host to read the room. Are questions making sense to them? Are they stumbling through, or are they feeling relaxed enough to engage in other ways. Speaking of questions, make sure that every question is one they have an answer for. The goal of an interview should not be to bombard them with questions, this will lead to them being flustered. And if you have the ability to, send over questions beforehand so they have the opportunity to prepare their answers and come ready to serve your audience.
Make Personal Connections
It is also hugely important to make personal connections, both during and prior to the interview. Before you even invite a guest on your show, do your research. Find out what they are all about. Search across social media platforms, their website, and any other show or event they may have appeared on. You will have a better idea of what they are like, what exactly they do, and what kind of guest they will be. If the interview is about a company or product, be sure to thoroughly research the purpose of it. Upon your guests’ arrival, introduce yourself, but then give adequate time for them to share about themselves. Shy away from asking yes or no questions, and lean into asking open ended questions. For example, ask “Tell me about your hometown,” instead of “Are you from here?” These questions will show that you care about the guest and can always potentially lead to a deeper relationship.
Prepared for Awkward
As fun as it can be to have a guest on your show, it can also be an awkward experience for you, the guest, and the audience. Have a guest that was super excited, but the moment you’re recording their turn white and stop speaking? Stage fright gets the best of all of us. Give them a bit of a kickstart by offering a speaking transition and suddenly the color will come rushing back to their cheeks. Guests that are dull or only offer short answers to questions can usually be coaxed out of their shell when you ask them about their favorite things. Overall, you need to remember that you are the microphone for these people, companies, and products. What can you do to make an interview highlight the reason your guest is on the show in the first place?