This episode is on how to be a great interviewer. Now, I was talking to a client in Australia yesterday and we were talking about podcasts and that she needed to learn how to be a great podcast guest. So I told her about Episode 211, which is how to be a great podcast guest. And then we got talking about having her own podcast and she asked me if I had an episode on how to be a great interviewer, and I said, well, guess what, this is going to be it today. And this is from my perspective and what I do to prepare for an interview.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 629
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See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[03:59] Tom's introduction to Being a Great Interviewer [04:30] Recruiting great guests [06:44] Using Google when considering a guest [10:24] Guests may send you questions [11:37] Researching humor about your guests [13:23] Don't agree with your guests all the time [14:55] Add your experience [17:28] Listen to other podcasts and pay attention to sound quality
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How To Be A Great Podcast Guest – https://screwthecommute.com/211/
Time On Site – https://screwthecommute.com/628/
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Episode 629 – Being a Great Interviewer
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with episode 629 of Screw the Commute Podcast. This episode is on how to be a great interviewer. Now, I was talking to a client in Australia yesterday and we were talking about podcasts and that she needed to learn how to be a great podcast guest. So I told her about Episode 211, which is how to be a great podcast guest. And then we got talking about having her own podcast and she asked me if I had an episode on how to be a great interviewer, and I said, well, guess what, this is going to be it today. And this is from my perspective and what I do to prepare for an interview. But I'm going to go one step further. I'm going to try to get an interview in the in a future episode with Judy Jernudd. And she had a talk show in Los Angeles, and I think she interviewed a couple of presidents. All right. So keep an eye out for that episode. Now, I got to tell you that starting your own podcast can open doors for you and let you reach and get to know people you could never reach. Many of the big names in your industry got that way because of publicity. In other words, their name got passed around, so you will be able to get to them on your podcast because many of them are publicity hounds.
[00:01:52] Anyway, I have other episodes talking about the value of podcasting, but I just want to remind you of it here. So you see the value of being a great interviewer and you'll hear about what the guy from Entrepreneur magazine said about me. All right. Hope you didn't miss Episode 628 This was all about your website time on site. How do you get people to stay on longer? C The longer somebody stays on your site, the more likely they will be to spend money with you. And the more the search engines think, your site must be pretty darn good if people are staying on it so long. So that was episode 628 and you get to a back episode like 211 How to Be a great podcast guest and 628 by going to screwthecommute.com slash and then the episode number that was 628 time on site and 211 for how to be a great podcast guest. All right. Now a quick update on our program to get scholarships for persons with disabilities. One of the people is already started a website to help other people with disabilities. I'm so proud of him. Another is totally revamping her husband's construction website. And remember, those two people I just mentioned are blind. All right. Amazing. Very inspirational. And the third is a schoolteacher and she's moving right along with her studies and and even being more into it now that the school is out.
[00:03:22] So we'd love to have you help out with the second round of financing for this by going to screwthecommute.com/disability to help out with a Go Fund Me campaign. You can just click on it and go over there and anything you can kick in is great. And hey, if you're really flush with cash, we want to get to more people into this pilot program and then roll it out really big to companies and foundations to help loads and loads of people with disability. So check it out.
[00:04:01] All right. Let's get to the main event. Let's talk about what I personally do to prepare for an interview. And I'm pretty sure I'm considered darn good at it because one of the big honchos at Entrepreneur magazine who's interviewed hundreds of times said, and this is I don't know, it's a paraphrase, but I'm pretty sure he said I was the best prepared host he'd ever been interviewed. All right. Something like that. It was close to that. Now to be a good host. First of all, it's way easier if you recruit great guests. If you take anybody as a guest and they suck well, it makes your job way, way, way more. Harder or harder. I mean, they may give one word answers and you have to keep digging and digging to get them to open up.
[00:04:56] Now, I'm going to talk about researching your guest, but this is another reason to do a really good job of researching the guest. They might give one word answers on most of the questions, and that makes it really suck. But if you know enough about what they are passionate about, you can sometimes steer the interview that way, and you'll probably be surprised that they went from the worst guest ever to being animated and interesting. Anyway. It's still better to start with a great guest, especially until you get more experience. Now, where do you find great guests and how do you check them out? Well, the National Speakers Association in Tempe, Arizona, is a great place to start. You can go online and research all these people and they all have big mouths, right? All those professional speakers have big mouths and they have all kinds of topics. And if they're good enough to be a pro speaker or at least want to be a pro speaker there, they probably love to hear themselves talk. They probably have some clean humor and good stories and all that makes for a great show and makes it easier on you, by the way. Also there are podcast matching services like PodMatch.com, where guests and hosts can listen, can list themselves. Most of the guests have sample interviews so you can see what they sound and or look like if it's a video interview before you book them.
[00:06:31] And there are podcast booking agencies where guests pay to be on. And the agency always wants to find bookings for them. And this cost you nothing as the host of a podcast. Och the next thing I do when considering a guest is I Google the person's name and the word scam. And then I do it again with the word rip off. And then I do it again with the word complaints. And guess what? If I see a whole bunch of results and in some fashion they're saying this person is not a scam. Pretty much. You can bet they are a scammer. Okay. They manipulated people, probably affiliates of theirs who would make money. If you bought something from the scammer through their links and who will say anything nice about the scammer just so they can get the commission? You got to run from these guests. See if you put them on and they rip off your listeners, you're somewhat responsible morally for promoting them and you'll shoot your reputation fast and your show will tank. Once word gets around you promote rip offs, so don't do that. All right. Now, if the person passes that test and there are no really bad legitimate complaints about them, then I'll listen to a few minutes of them on someone else's podcast. I rarely have a guest on that has never been interviewed before. See, I have a high quality show and I can't afford to have people on who either suck as a guest or start spouting crazy stuff that I don't believe in.
[00:08:15] All right. Now, that's not to say I won't have a legitimate, legitimate debate. I mean, I've had SEO people that's search engine optimization people on. And other than, you know, I've been around since the beginning, 28 years and a half now since the commercial Internet started. So it's hard to put anything over on me. All right. I've been there, done that. So I used to be a big believer in SEO and was one of the best of the best in the country for a long time. But I quit. I know now, seven, eight years ago. It's just not worth it to me. But I'll be glad to debate SEO people and that makes for a good show. But I won't promote people who are yapping about weird stuff that could hurt my audience if they did what the person was saying. So. So you want to listen and see what they're about before you put them on your show. All right. Once the guest is booked, I will start researching them more deeply. I'll dig into their website, and many times I'll find obscure facts about them that no one else bothered to look at or bring up during an interview. So I was just doing an interview one time with a big shot author. And, you know, after doing 600, what is it, 630 some episodes, right? As an interviewer, in a thousand interviews that I've been on personally, you know, I kind of know if someone is just calling it in, you know, or, you know, they're just it appeared that they're just going through the motions to get, you know, access to my people.
[00:09:48] And then they'll go on to the next interview and never think twice about me. So I brought up an obscure passion of his that I found in my research. And you would have thought a different person all of a sudden sat down in the chair and was in the interview. Right. He lit up like the White House Christmas tree, and he went on to a much better interview. And when it was over, he asked me how I knew about his passion. And I just said, it's my business to know. And I left it at that. Let him wonder. Now sometimes the guest will send you questions. You don't have to use these questions unless the guest demands it and you have agreed to it. I've only had that happen a few times. I mean, they send me questions a lot, but very few, unless they're a really big shot, don't demand that I ask those questions. But I've had it happen a couple of times and I think I agreed to it once or twice because I was under the gun to get the next episode out and I didn't have as much time to prepare. And believe me, that's going to happen to you in the future.
[00:10:58] You know, when you turn crank out as much three times a week. I have for four years. So you got to really hustle. All right. Now, if they do send you questions, it's a great help to you if especially if you're a beginning interviewer, because you don't have to think up everything on your own. You can also depend that if they gave you the question, they ought to be able to give you a good answer. Right? That's good for your audience. And if they can't, well, I guess either they're a moron or they're publicists gave you the questions and they didn't bother to look at them before the interview. All right. Now, the next thing I do is, is search out or research out any humor about the topic we're talking about. All you have to do is Google it. For instance, let's say my guess is is going to talk about small business accounting. I would Google accounting humor. Now, I didn't find this exact piece of humor that and I use it all the time, but I took the idea that I found on Google and adapted it. So. So here it is. All right. So. I might say if you spend $5,000 on a website that I could show you how to make for $150, you have to net $4,850 just to get back to being broke. So. So yeah, might not be knee slapping and funny, but when you use humor, as I've taught thousands of speakers to do and it applies to the topic, it doesn't have to be comedic comedian level to to get the point across and add some fun to your interview.
[00:12:46] Now, after you do this for a while, you're already have your go to humor ready for all kinds of topics. Now, one of my favorites and you're welcome to steal it for me because I stole it from Google somewhere. So when we're talking about productivity. So here's here's what I say. Hey, I saw a sign at a company that said we give 110%. Yeah. 10% on Monday. 15% on Tuesday. That's the end of the joke right there. It's funny as heck. So. All right, let's get to the next issue. That's the mark of a beginner interviewer that you just don't want to do is don't just half heartedly agree with the guest all the time. I can tell a beginner interviewer a mile or ten miles away just by their response to the guest's topic or point that the guest is made. Now, here's an example. Let's let's say I just gave a really great tip to the audience. And I might add, I always do when I'm pushing towards being a great guest all the time. That's why I've been invited back to some shows like 13 times some of the top shows in the world that usually only have somebody on once. I've been on twice and in their classics, you know, Entrepreneur on Fire put me in their classic interviews.
[00:14:10] So that's what you want to shoot for. And that's episode 211, by the way, screwthecommute.com/211. Anyway, let's say I gave a great tip and the interviewer just says. That's really great. And then they move on to something else without commenting and adding value to my tip. That's the mark of a beginner. You don't want to be that person. Maybe you could recap the tip so the audience hears it twice. Maybe you could give an example of how to apply the tips specifically to your audience. Just don't say a pitiful. Wow. That was really good. Never thought of that. No, that's. That doesn't make you a great interviewer. The other thing you can do is add your experience. Now, I'm assuming if you want to be an interviewer that you either know a lot about the topic or you want to learn about the topic. Now I know a guy who wanted to know about Bitcoin stuff, so he started a podcast from the Bitcoin, let's say dummies point of view, and he had guests on the show all about Bitcoin stuff and he asked questions that typical Bitcoin newbie would really ask. And he has a very successful show. Now. I've been around a super long time in the business world, so I've got tons of things and stories I can add to my interviews without taking the spotlight off the guest. So when you're listening to other podcasts, you'll see is the host just ego driven and the guest is just there, you know, just to have somebody to talk to and tell how great he is, the guest or the host is.
[00:15:52] No, you know, you want a nice balance there of you're doing the show for a reason to prove your credibility or to learn stuff or whatever. I mean, we always want to make money with stuff that I promote. But you know, the guests took their time to be on your show. You should make them look good. Or unless they're turned out to be an idiot, then too bad. Don't even show the episode or put the episode on. But anyway, as you get more experience as an interviewer, things the guest says will trigger info from your past that you can pop into the interview right there. Or I make notes during the interview so that I can bring something up later, let them finish their point, and then I bring up that thing later that I would have forgotten about if we just went on forward with the interview. So I might say something like, So wait a minute, I just jotted a note down here. Sally, you said X, Y and Z a few minutes ago. Well, what do you mean by that? Let's go deeper into that or something like that so that I don't forget about it. I make a note to myself, to, you know, if the less time is running out or whatever, I might skip it, but at least I have something to relate to.
[00:17:05] And it also shows that you, the interviewer, are in the moment. You're actually listening and absorbing. And this, you know, your your audience will thank you for this, because they might have been in the car and they kind of missed what she was talking about. And and you bring it back up and they can dig deeper and get it. Say this on the second time around. So I said about listening to other podcasts, so what what I suggest you do is listen to other podcasts and start critiquing the interviewers in your mind or jot it down. You'll pick up great tips from the great interviewers and you'll see things that are annoying and stupid that you can then avoid from the terrible interviewers. Okay. And another thing when you're listening to other podcasts. Pay attention to the sound quality. See if you have great sound quality new listeners will automatically think you're a great show and a great interviewer because your sound is as good as the other great shows they've listened to. So chipping out and trying to do a podcast on your cell phone and yes, you can do it on rare occasions after your show has built up tons of credibility, you can do one on your cell phone from the beach or from somewhere. But starting with poor sound, quality is instantly going to make people think your show is rinky dink and that you are too.
[00:18:36] So in a moment, I'm going to recap everything for you on how to be a great interviewer. And then remember, I'm hoping to get Judy Bernard on here for part two of this topic on how to be a great interviewer, because she's done thousands of them in the top media market or one of the top in the world. So now if you want help with all this stuff, you know, check out my mentor program. It's the longest running, most successful, most unique, most well financially structured for you so that, you know, I'm not going to disappear. I'll take your big money and disappear on you. We have an entry fee, and then I don't get my big money unless you make money. And you're not stuck with me forever because it's capped. Once I get with you for our our program runs for at least a year and all the way along. If you're making money, I make some more money. You make big money. I make some more money, you know? And then once you reach a certain level that you've paid me, you don't owe me anything else. And I still keep helping people that have paid that that money over time. So it's extremely unique. No one on earth will put their program up against my because I'm a crazy fanatic to help you, and that's the way I roll. All right. Let's recap how to be a great interviewer. So pick great guest, national speaker association, a good place to to look to start and different services make sure they aren't scammers.
[00:20:05] You don't want to get a bad reputation for your show. Google their name and go deep into the search results. Ten or 20 pages. Now this can be done very quickly. You'll be start skimming stuff that you know. Sometimes a person's name is kind of common so so you might want to go to their social media to be able to lead you to all the other stuff being said about them. Now on really big shot, guests go really, really deep because they hear the same questions over and over and you're not going to impress them by doing the same questions everybody else does. But by knowing more obscure things, you can get really cool interviews out of big shots. And I listen to as many of their older interviews as I can to pick up stories and facts they probably forgot about years ago. Oc. Review the questions if they happen to send you questions. Make your own list of questions and don't just say pitiful things in response to their great point. Make sure you can piggyback off of it or recap it. Add your experience whenever possible. Research humor on the topic and pop it in at appropriate places. Listen and critique other podcast interviewers and make sure your sound quality is good and pretty soon people will be begging to be on your show. All right. That's my story. And I'm sticking to it. I will catch you on the next episode. See you later.