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Training Podcasts Series 3 – Episode 2 – Practical Interviewing


Series 3: The Art of Interviewing

Episode 2: Practical Interviewing

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Welcome back to EcoPodcasts! I’m Giota, and you are tuning into the second episode of our series “The Art of Interviewing”. In our last episode, we explored various interviewing techniques, including preparation, crafting questions, and conducting the interview. Now, we are going to dive into practical interviewing. We will cover hands-on techniques, analyze real examples, and explore how to organize and conduct small interviewing sessions. So, let’s get started!

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In this episode, we will focus on three main areas: practical interviewing techniques, analyzing real interview examples, and organizing and conducting small interviewing sessions. By the end of this episode, you will have practical tools to conduct engaging and effective interviews for your podcasts.

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Segment 1: Practical Interviewing Techniques

Let’s start with practical interviewing techniques. These hands-on strategies will help you conduct smooth and engaging interviews, even in unexpected situations.

First, consider the importance of a pre-interview chat. Before you start recording, spend a few minutes talking informally with your guest. This helps build rapport and makes them feel more comfortable. You might ask them about their day, share a bit about yourself, or briefly go over the main topics you will discuss.

Next, always have backup questions ready. Sometimes, your guest might give shorter answers than expected, or a particular topic might not yield as much discussion as you hoped. Having a few extra questions prepared ensures you can keep the conversation flowing.

Another key technique is active listening. While this was covered in our previous episode, it’s worth emphasizing again. Show genuine interest in your guest’s responses by nodding, making eye contact, and providing verbal acknowledgments. Active listening also involves being present and responsive, allowing you to pick up on cues for follow-up questions.

If your guest says something particularly interesting or unexpected, don’t be afraid to go off-script. Follow-up questions like “Can you tell me more about that?” or “What happened next?” can lead to deeper insights and more engaging content.

During the interview, be mindful of your body language. Maintain an open posture, avoid crossing your arms, and lean slightly forward to show engagement. Positive body language can help put your guest at ease and encourage them to share more openly.

Use pauses effectively. Don’t be afraid of a bit of silence. Pausing for a few seconds after your guest finishes speaking can prompt them to add more details or elaborate on their point. It also shows that you are considering their words thoughtfully.

Be adaptable and ready to handle technical issues calmly. If there is a problem with the recording equipment or a background noise interruption, address it smoothly and reassure your guest. For example, you might say, “Let’s pause for a moment to fix this issue”, and then resume the conversation seamlessly.

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Segment 2: Analyzing Real Interview Examples

Now let’s move on to analyzing real interview examples. Reviewing and learning from successful interviews can provide valuable insights into what works well. Here are some elements to look for:

Listen to interviews by renowned podcasters and pay attention to their questioning style. Notice how they balance between open-ended and specific questions, and how they use follow-up questions to dive deeper into interesting topics. For example, listen to how Terry Gross from NPR’s “Fresh Air” navigates her interviews with a mix of preparation and spontaneity.

Observe the pacing of successful interviews. Good interviewers maintain a steady flow without rushing their guest. They allow time for thoughtful responses and avoid interrupting. For instance, in Tim Ferriss’s podcast, “The Tim Ferriss Show”, he often gives his guests plenty of space to think and respond fully, creating a relaxed yet engaging atmosphere.

Notice the interviewer’s tone and delivery. Effective interviewers use a conversational tone, making the discussion feel natural and engaging rather than a formal Q&A session. Joe Rogan, in “The Joe Rogan Experience”, often blends humor and curiosity, making his interviews feel like a friendly chat.

Identify how interviewers handle sensitive or challenging topics. They approach these areas with empathy and respect, allowing their guest to express themselves comfortably. Oprah Winfrey is known for her skill in navigating sensitive topics with grace, creating a safe space for her guests.

Pay attention to how interviewers close their interviews. A good closing includes summarizing key points, thanking the guest, and allowing the guest to share any final thoughts. In “The Tim Ferriss Show”, Tim often asks his guests for their parting advice or favorite books, providing a thoughtful conclusion to the conversation.

After listening to these examples, reflect on what made the interviews engaging and effective. Think about how you can incorporate these techniques into your own interviewing style.

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Segment 3: Organizing and Conducting Small Interviewing Sessions

Finally, let’s talk about organizing and conducting small interviewing sessions. These sessions can be a great way to practice your skills and gather diverse perspectives.

Start by selecting a small group of participants. This could be a mix of students, colleagues, or community members. Aim for a group that brings diverse viewpoints and experiences to the table.

Schedule a time and place for the session. Ensure the environment is quiet and free from distractions. If possible, choose a setting where participants feel comfortable and relaxed, such as a cozy meeting room or a quiet outdoor space.

Begin the session with a brief introduction. Explain the purpose of the interview and outline the main topics you will cover. This helps set expectations and provides context for the discussion.

Start with icebreaker questions to help participants feel at ease. Simple, open-ended questions like “What inspired your interest in environmental issues?” can help break the ice and encourage participation.

Encourage an open and respectful dialogue. Set ground rules for the discussion, such as listening without interrupting and respecting different viewpoints. This creates a safe space for participants to share their thoughts.

Use a mix of individual questions and group discussions. Start by asking each participant an individual question to ensure everyone has a chance to speak. Then, open the floor to group discussions on broader topics. This can lead to dynamic and insightful conversations.

As the moderator, guide the discussion to keep it on track. If the conversation veers off-topic, gently steer it back to the main points. For example, you might say, “That’s an interesting point. Let’s relate it back to our main topic of sustainable practices.”

Listen actively and take notes. Pay attention to key points and interesting insights that emerge during the discussion. These notes can be valuable for follow-up questions and for reviewing the session later.

Conclude the session by summarizing the key points discussed. Thank the participants for their time and contributions. Ask if they have any final thoughts or questions.

After the session, review your notes and recordings. Identify the most compelling points and consider how they can be incorporated into your podcast. Reflect on what went well and what could be improved for future sessions.

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Congratulations! You have learned practical interviewing techniques, how to analyze real interview examples, and how to organize and conduct small interviewing sessions. With these hands-on strategies, you are well-equipped to conduct engaging and effective interviews for your podcasts.

Remember, this is the final episode of our series “The Art of Interviewing”. If you want to dive deeper and find more details and instructions, visit our website. There, you will find our comprehensive practical guide on how to create a podcast, filled with additional tips, resources, and step-by-step instructions to help you on your podcasting journey.

Thank you for tuning in to EcoPodcasts. We hope you have enjoyed this series and found it valuable. Until next time, happy interviewing and happy podcasting!

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University of Macedonia

Giota Digkoglou


This podacst explores
the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

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