Interviews provide a unique opportunity to deploy information to the world, using not only your own voice and expertise, but those of well-respected experts as well. Broadcast interviews have their share of challenges, but when you’re well-prepared, those hurdles tend to evaporate.

1. Research Past Interviews

Like many of us, you'll feel more comfortable when you’re well prepared. The first thing is to research past interviews that your interviewee has had to ensure that you don’t cover similar topics. While conducting your research, you can use their previous answers to come up with new and engaging questions–what's the follow-up you wish past interviewers asked? Practice by role-playing as you prepare for the interview. You might even consider asking a colleague or close friend to practice with you.

2. Check Their Social Media Profiles to Find Fodder

Your prep work should involve more than just studying the interview topic. Equally important, you should also study the interviewee, and checking their social media profiles is one of the best ways to do so. While some interviewers prefer never preparing for a guest, doing your homework about your guest will help establish a relationship. For example, in your podcast, you need guests who will tell a detailed story, which they can only do by speaking freely with emotion without sounding like robots. The more you know about your guest, the better prepared you will be to direct conversation in a fun, natural, and engaging manner.

3. Make Sure to Avoid Questions They Don’t Want to Address

While sometimes you may be required to send questions to the interviewee and get written answers, the result may not be as good as face-to-face interaction. Whenever you get face time with your guests, ensure that you mention the topics you want to cover and ask if there are questions that they may not be comfortable being asked. You can also inquire whether they have other subjects they would want to discuss.

4. Outline your Questions Before the Interview

As you prepare for your interview, it’s important to set goals. Making a general outline of the questions you want to ask your guest during the interview is key. This will guide your interview and also help your guests to know the direction you’re taking. However, you should remain flexible for surprising turns and twists and even consider throwing the questions out of the window in case the conversation becomes too good.

5. Be Well Prepared

As podcasting and blogging become more popular, interview skills will become important. Interviewing professionals in your niche will help draw a bigger audience. Fortunately, you don’t need a formal journalist degree to enhance your interview skills. By preparing well for an interview on your show, you’ll sound like a professional.