33 Podcast Interview Questions That Produce Engaging Answers

Emily Kingland
May 13, 2024
33 Podcast Interview Questions That Produce Engaging Answers

If you’re like us, you’re always looking for new podcast interview questions that uncover noteworthy answers. You owe it to your listeners to reveal unique POVs and advice from your guests.


But the last time you asked a guest about their favorite part of working from home, you got a response involving holy socks, chunky peanut butter, and a pug named Porky.

In other words, you need some different podcast interview questions to add to your arsenal.

What are revealing podcast interview questions? 33 podcast interview questions that get unique answers include…

  • What's a commonly held belief about your role that you passionately disagree with?
  • What do you wish your younger self knew about your current profession?
  • Do you agree with the common perception about your work? Why or why not?
  • If you had 10x the budget you have now, what would you spend it on?
  • What's something everybody in your industry should stop or start doing?
  • What's the biggest challenge the industry is facing today? In 10 years?
  • Where do you self-educate?
  • If you were going to write a book, what would it be about?

Thanks to my generous LinkedIn network, I was able to crowd-source some favorite questions to ask during a podcast interview. Many of those are featured in this blog post.

james-carbary-linkedin-post

Below, we've organized the best 25 podcast interview questions into three categories dealing with the guest's profession, industry, and self-improvement.

Profession-Specific Questions

When it comes to your business podcast, listeners want to learn from people in their same situation. Writers like to hear from other writers. CMOs like to hear from other CMOs. Musicians like to hear from other musicians.

woman-speaking-on-a-podcast

The questions you ask guests about their profession should encourage them to open up about their specific experiences. The more particular they get, the more relatable the content is.

1. What do you wish everybody understood about your job?

2. What's a commonly held belief about your role that you passionately disagree with?

3. When you first started as a [guest's profession], what's something that was more challenging than you expected?

4. What's one tool that you always carry in your toolbox no matter what project you're working on?

5. What do you wish your younger self knew about your current role?

6. Do you agree with the common perception about your work?

7. What has fundamentally changed about your work from when you started until now?

8. What is the biggest problem you or your team solved in the last year?

9. What's a concern you have for your next board meeting?

10. What's motivating your team right now?

11. What's one initiative on your whiteboard that wasn't there 30 days ago?

12. If you had 10x the budget you have now, what would you spend it on?

13. How do you get yourself out of work slumps or ruts?

[READ: Every good podcast episode starts with an outline. Here's how to outline a valuable episode in 4 steps w/ examples.]

Industry Specific Questions

We always recommend focusing your B2B podcast around your ideal customer's expertise and industry. This way, they're positioned as the expert when being interviewed on your show.

Even if you don't know much about your guest's industry, the following interview questions will tee them up to give a valuable answer.

14. What's something about your industry that has surprised you lately?

15. What's something that everyone in your industry should start or stop doing?

16. If you were sitting next to a leading expert in your field, what would you ask them?

17. Who's your mentor or industry role model? Why?

18. What's the biggest challenge the industry is facing today? In 10 years?

Self-Improvement Questions

Podcast listeners are motivated to improve themselves in regards to career, education, and life in general. That's why they're listening to your show.

girl-listening-to-podcast-holding-books

So, it's important to ask your guests questions about their continued education and life aspirations. Oftentimes you'll get an inspiring response that listeners take to heart.

19. Where do you self-educate?

20. What's giving you hope right now?

21. What's a status quo you reject and why?

22. How do you balance life and work?

23. What's been the most influential resource for your career?

24. If you were going to write a book, what would it be about?

Personal Questions

Asking personal questions on a B2B podcast can be a tool used to help introduce your guest or get the audience feeling more connected to them. Of course, be aware of the guest’s time and target episode length and save the heavy-hitting personal questions for towards the end. 

25. What does your morning routine look like?

26. What book has had the greatest impact on your lift?

27. If you could go back in time and give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Funny and Miscellaneous Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask your guest out-of-the-box questions to shake things up. Bonus points if you tie them back to the main idea of the interview! 

28. What is an unpopular opinion you have?

29. What is your [insert popular personality test here (i.e. Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, etc)] type?

30. If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?

Wrap-Up Questions

Avoid ending your podcast interview in an awkward spot by having wrap-up questions at the ready. 

31. Is there anything else you’d like to share today?

32. Ask your podcast’s signature question! Keep reading to learn more about those.

33. Where can our listeners find you?

Asking Your Guest if They Would Like to Share Anything Else

Asking your guest if there is anything else they’d like to speak about gives them the chance to share any additional insights and fosters a collaborative atmosphere. This question is also a good way to signal the conversation is coming to a close. 

How to Ask Clarifying Questions

A great podcast host knows how to dig deeper into questions and get a thorough answer for your listeners. Mastering the art of clarifying questions can take time, so we put together a guide.

What, Why, How?

Have some what/why/how questions set aside. These help you take a deeper dive on the subject which your listeners will appreciate.

Here’s an example framework you can use for the POV question “What’s something that everyone in your industry should stop doing?”

what-why-how-question-framework

How to Come Up with Unique Podcast Questions

The list of questions we gave you above will have you well on your way to asking great podcast questions, but fantastic podcast hosts know how to come up with original questions that engage both the guest and the listeners at home. In these 5 simple steps, you will be able to create unique questions. 

1. Research Your Guest

While it may seem simple, researching your guest can provide a lot of value. A quick Google search or look at their LinkedIn can reveal a lot of interesting information and make great material for questions. Plus, it's a common courtesy. 

2. Ask Your Audience What Questions They Have For the Guest

Want to get your listeners excited to tune in? Ask them to submit questions they have for an upcoming guest! Not only will this allow you to directly answer your audience’s questions, it also incentives them to listen in. 

3. Avoid Yes or No Questions 

Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer! Well actually…don’t take ‘yes’ for an answer either. Avoid questions that have one word replies. An easy way to turn a one word answer into a long-form answer is to simply ask “Why?”.

4. Know Which Topics To Avoid

Another benefit of researching your guest is learning what topics to avoid. If your guest is frequently interviewed, don’t ask them the same questions they are asked on every show– it gets boring for them!

If your question has to do with a negative or difficult topic to speak about, try to reword it and frame it in a positive manner. Avoid any questions that are offensive or may make your guest feel awkward. 

5. Come Up With a Signature Question For Your Show

A signature question is a fun way to wrap up your episode. Try to keep it relevant to your podcast niche, industry, or make it a fun continuation of your show’s title/branding. 

How to Prepare for a Podcast Interview

We understand that making a list of questions and actually feeling prepared for a podcast interview are two different things. Luckily, there are podcast interview best practices you can use to prepare yourself.

Pre-Interview

The pre-interview can happen either completely separately from the interview or right before it.

A pre-interview really only has to last about 15 minutes. Its purpose is to get you and your guest more comfortable and build rapport.

[READ: Want to impress your podcast guest? Here are 10 easy ways to W😮W 'em.]

Also, if you're following the content-based networking framework, the pre-interview is the perfect opportunity to kick off your relationship with the guest (aka, potential customer).

POV Discovery

A POV (Point of View) question is meant to draw out a distinct perspective from your guest. Its objective is to turn a high-level topic like ABM or content marketing into a unique conversation around the guest's specific experiences.

To feel really prepared for the interview, try asking POV questions during the pre-interview. Depending on the quality of the guest's answers, those questions should pop up in the real interview.

A few of the POV questions our team likes to use:

  • What's a commonly held belief about your industry/profession that you passionately disagree with?
  • What's something that everyone in your industry should stop doing?
  • What's something that everyone in your industry should start doing?

Spoiler: Remember that list of 33 podcast interview questions up there? 👆  They can all be used as POV questions.

Outlining the Episode

Once you've uncovered your guest's unique POV, you can wrap up the pre-interview with a rough outline of the questions you're going to ask. Read it back to the guest so they're clear on the topics you'll cover in the interview.

Then, make sure you have an episode outline for yourself. This way, you won't forget any of the areas you and your guest agreed upon.

Podcast Interview Questions Takeaways

There are lots of business podcasts out there asking guests the same generic questions.

To glean authentic, helpful answers from your expert guests, remember these takeaways:

  • Use the list of 33 revealing podcast interview questions
  • Prepare for the interview with a pre-interview
  • Focus on asking POV questions and follow up with what/why/how questions

Need a podcast agency? Check out the 7 essential services every agency should offer.

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