The Complete List of Podcast Interview Questions to Ask Your Guests

.

Podcasts have grown increasingly popular over recent years.


In 2020, an estimated 15.6 million residents in the UK listened to a podcast interview. With such a large audience for you to connect with, asking your podcast guests the right questions is key to an engaging episode. Although we believe that you can adjust many questions to match your guest, theme, audience, subject matter, and so on, there is no perfect list of questions. 


Whether you’ve scheduled your first guest for your up-and-coming podcast or you’ve finally landed the guest that will push your podcast up the ranks, asking the right questions is the bulk of your work. You’re likely nervous, but it’s easy to keep the conversation organic and engaging if the podcast questions you ask to set up a comfortable atmosphere for your listeners to follow. 


The team at ZenCast has put their heads together to come up with the complete list of podcast interview questions to ask your guests in 2022. 


What to consider when creating your podcast questions

Podcasters can waste a lot of time trying to formulate a perfectly structured episode. Many do well outlining every question from start to finish, but most of the best podcasts are those that have hosts who can think on their feet. 


Yes, start with a good number of questions that relate to your guest. However, have some backup podcast questions meant to sway or bring back the conversation if needed. 


Consider the following factors when you’re organizing your podcast questions: 

  • Know who your audience is. Don’t ask questions that your audience is not going to relate to.

  • Know the length of your episode. Having too many questions lined up and a short episode means you won’t be able to hit every topic. You might have some excellent questions, yet time keeps you from getting to them. Be sure to have a certain amount of time for answers and come up with methods to lead the conversation back to your schedule if it goes astray. 

  • Know who your guest really is. You need to get familiar with your guest in more than just a quick Google search. If they’ve written a book, read as much of it as possible. Listen to other interviews to get an idea of how they respond, podcast questions they’ve been asked before, and inspiration on how you could dig a little deeper. If you do your research, you’ll ensure you create the best podcast questions. 

Podcast interview questions to ask your guests 

If you’ve done your due diligence, you’ve likely gotten to this point with a good idea of how you want your conversation to pan out. From here, you can develop questions that will lead your podcast in the right direction while creating engaging content that your audience will eat up. 

Fast tips when writing podcast questions

  • Organize podcast questions that will lead the conversation.

  • The best podcast episodes require very little editing. 

  • Don’t be hesitant to get personal if your guest is open to it. 

  • Remember the theme of your podcast. 

  • There really are no stupid questions.

  • Ask follow-up questions like “why?”, “how” or “and then what happened?”

  • If your guest is shy to warm up to your questions, use some icebreaker questions. 


Here are what we at ZenCast call our complete list of podcast interview questions that will help shape your conversation. These questions will help guide your conversation and work to inspire you to come up with your own relevant questions that you know your guest and audience will admire.

#1 How’s your day going so far?

Ask simple questions to get the conversation started. Be sure to get the conversation started before you even hit the record button This will give you an opportunity to make sure the mics are working properly and to see how shy your guest is about being recorded. It’s also a chance to warm up to each other.

#2 What subjects are off the table?

This is another question that you should ask before starting to record. It’s important to know how personal you can get with your guest so you don’t have any awkward moments during the interview. You can ensure you’re starting a healthy relationship with your guest by giving them an idea of what you’re going to ask. 

#3 What is your favorite interview question?

This is a great starter question as it might lead to some interesting stories from your guest. 

#4 What is your best childhood memory?

This and other questions take the podcast on a more personal level and can lead to some excellent counter questions. 

#5 What moment in your life do you attribute to putting you on the path to where you are today?

This question will provide your guest with a thinker as to what moment in their past they believe symbolizes their success today. 

#6 What is your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?

Everyone fails but it’s those moments you learned from and use as a stepping stone that leads to success. 

#7 How do you balance work and life?

This is an example of a question that can help the audience enhance their own lives. If your audience is aspiring musicians, an example of another question you could use would be on how to prevent themselves from burning out if their work is an integral part of their lifestyle

#8 How do you handle rejection?

You’re helping to provide value listeners can take away with them. 

#9 What do you think your younger self would think of what you’ve achieved?

These thinking questions are huge because they often touch on subject matters that guests haven’t spoken about before. 

#10 What is something many people underestimate/get wrong about you? 

This question provides your guest the chance to dive deeper into how they want to be perceived. 

#11  What question do you wish you could get asked in an interview?

Maybe there’s that one question they keep hoping to get asked but never do. This is that chance to let them tell you.

#12 What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Another thinker question that lets your guest get a little less humble for a moment. You can even ask them how they reacted to it.

#13 What are your favorite podcasts to listen to?

Chances are your listeners love listening to a wide variety of podcasts. They can often relate to your guests by getting introduced to new podcasters. 

#14 Who has been your biggest influence/supporter that helped you get through the tough moments?

Provide your guest the opportunity to give a shout-out to those important people in their life that have been there for them as a mentor, etc. 

#14 What makes you feel inspired or like your best self?

This one, taken directly from The Free Verse Podcast is an excellent way to have guests think inward about themselves – which they might thank you for!

#15 What are you working on right now?

Provide your guest with an opportunity for some free advertising to let your listeners know when they can expect more. 

#16 Was there anything you wanted to discuss that I didn’t touch upon?

Don’t leave any rocks unturned and give your podcast guest the chance to add anything they think is relevant to the podcast and to the listeners. 

#17 Ask your signature podcast question

Many of the most popular podcasters have a signature question they’ll ask either at the start or end of their conversation–or both. 

#18 Where can listeners find you online?

If your interview is successful, your listeners will likely want to find out more about your guest. Ask your guests how you can be found online and allow them the opportunity to offer the best platforms to find them. 

Get on asking!

Although we’ve called the list complete, you can use the above list of podcast questions as a shortcut for producing your own unique questions geared towards your particular guest and goals. Remember the theme of your podcast, so your questions should relate. You don’t need to strictly stick to what you’ve listed. 


Natural conversation can sometimes lead to the best episodes, but you must keep an eye on the time and topics you are hoping to hit so you can guide the conversation if needed. Also, having questions written out as well as some you can use if the conversation changes will ensure you have to do as little as possible in post-production. 


ZenCast provides the best platform for successfully implementing your podcast, reaching your target audience, and making the impact you desire. Interested in finding out more about how you can create the best podcast possible and reach the widest audience? Take a look at the rest of Zencast’s blog





Free podcasting lessons

Podcasting tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox.