Conducting a radio interview is harder than having a television or live interview done. Listeners do not see anything to stimulate them further. Their attention is dependent solely on the voices of the people speaking to each other on the radio. Therefore, the radio interview should be a good one to encourage interest among the listeners. Here are some tips and techniques that you should know in conducting a radio interview:
Before the interview
- Focus on your task. Know why you are doing the interview. The elements of the topic you would talk about should be clearer to you than to your listeners. Otherwise, you would just be asking questions that would not delve too deep into the matter.
- Choose your interviewee well. Make sure that the person you would be interviewing is knowledgeable on the subject as well. You should also consider his or her capacity to speak during an interview. Otherwise, you can just get the information you need through a phone interview and find someone else for your radio interview.
- Plan your interview questions in advance. Basically, you need to prepare six questions to answer the What, Where, When, Who, Why, and How. If your guest is a good speaker, you would just be asking these questions and letting him do the talking. If your interviewee is not that spontaneous, you could expound on these questions even on the spot to make the conversation more active.
- Prepare your introduction. Make it catchy enough to hook your listeners. Stress the reasons why they should stay around and listen to the whole show. Make them curious for what they would be missing.
On the air
- Organize your thoughts and keep calm. If you are nervous, your guest would feel nervous, too.
- Your questions should be short and directly to the point. Do not bore your listeners by talking all the time, not sharing the limelight with your guest. Don't beat around the bush, or else you would just be sending the signal that you don't know anything about the issue.
- Stick to your questions. If ever you feel the need to ask about interesting things that you have just learned from your guest, you could follow up after all your questions are done.
- Do not use jargon. Make sure that everything is explained well to the listeners.
- Keep watch of the time. Do not go below or beyond your scheduled time of interview.
After the interview
- Ask for feedback. Ask people what they think about your interview. Ask for constructive criticism from your station manager so you know what areas to improve on.
- Listen to yourself. Listen to a taped interview and take notes. Ask yourself about areas you need to improve.
A radio interview is an art and not a science. There are no prescribed steps, just tips and techniques in honing your craft. Over time, you will be developing your own style and, hopefully, that style will help you gain avid listeners.