There are a lot of lists out there. We’ve added some items in the past year as more of us are on podcasts and video calls. You can use these tips for both video calls and podcast guest invitations.

  1. Do your homework. This means research the show, and host to understand their style. If you showed up to a show not knowing every episode started with knock-knock jokes and a review of beers, you may be caught off-guard when that happens. Know who you are the guest of and connect with them on social media.
  2. Does the host need your headshot and bio to promote? If so, better for you to choose it than they do from what they find in Google results. Having a tiny press kit handy on your site makes this easy to grab: Headshots in various formats, black and white version too, bio – 50, 100, 250-word versions, company logo.
  3. Where are you doing this interview? In-person? Probably not. What’s your location like? Noisy? Echoey? Test it out so they don’t have to edit someone who sounds like they are in a bathtub with the landscapers in the background and dogs barking. For me, I know Tuesday morning interviews before 9:30 are out because of the neighbors’ landscapers, same with 4 pm here.
  4. What type of mic are you using or your phone? Have you ever heard a recording done from a cellphone? You may want to test it for free on Zoom – what do you sound like? Yes, record yourself and listen back. Try different positions and distances from the mic, try your phone, too. If you are using a mic, you’ll have to remember to SELECT THE MIC when it comes time for the interview. Zoom and the other programs have short-term memory issues and may go back to some default webcam or system mic. VERIFY it. Have a plan B mic that you have tested, too. I’ve spent many recording sessions troubleshooting equipment with people. By the time the interview is ready to start they are frustrated and out of sorts, and sometimes out of time.
  5. Regarding your mic, if it’s on your desk DO NOT TAP your desk in the interview. Take off noisy bracelets and watches.
  6. Have an apple. I’m not kidding, eat a green apple to prevent those gross mouth clicks when you speak. Are you prone to pronounced P’s? Try to soften it and not be on top of the mic, unless you have a pop-filter in front of the mic – they are cheap. Target and office stores have them.
  7. Yes, this is typically an audio interview, but if the video is good, the host can get more mileage out of it and so can you. Ask them if this is a possibility so you dress accordingly and clean up your space. No small patterns, avoid the green screen green for your shirts. Use that lint roller.
  8. Your HD face. Yes, audio is the priority, but if you are recording videos, check your face. I’ve been known to free-hand lipstick and be a little off-kilter from time to time. This makes no sense since my lips are in the same place they always are, yet I overdo the cupid bow on one side – usually my right. What about those eyebrows, nose hairs, blemishes? Trim them up, cover them up, please. Earrings? They can reflect and be noisy. Some of you use headphones in interviews, that’s fine, but your earrings may cause interference.
  9. Alright, it’s about 10 minutes before you are due in the recording. Time for a clean reboot of your system. If you are on your phone, turn off all other apps and alerts. Better to use a mic if at all possible. When you reboot your computer, do not open any window other than the interview so you are 100% focused on your host and their audience. It’s for the audience, please remember that. Turn off all Windows, social, calendar alerts. It can be recorded again, but it breaks the rhythm of the interview.
  10. If you are unhappy with an answer, ask if you can do it again. Better to have everyone happy so you’ll all want to share it out.
  11. Be careful you don’t get caught up in a moment and tell tales you should not say in public, especially about clients or colleagues.
  12. HAVE FUN! Smile. Enjoy the conversation.

Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash

And here is another great list from Interview Valet

(excerpt) After you’ve decided podcast interview marketing is good for your business and you’ve scored that podcast interview, you may be wondering how to impress the host, be a great podcast guest, and build a reputation to secure more interviews. Building on each interview will help you develop that reputation. Becoming a great guest is like honing any skill – it takes a plan and it takes work.