How to give better interviews (for D.I.Y. Rock Stars)

This blog post loosely accompanies Gab & Jam, episode 236. How to give better interviews (for D.I.Y. Rock Stars)

(video: and podcast: )

As D.I.Y. Rock Stars, we may need to give an interview or two from time to time. I ran across this episode that shared some ways to do that better. We incorporated the essence of their tips along with some of what we have figured out.

236. How to give better interviews (for D.I.Y. Rock Stars)

(video: and podcast: )

I happened to be listening to the You Are the Brand podcast and this topic was inspired by episode 330: However, in THEIR episode, they discuss both tips for the interviewer, as well as the interviewee. For our purposes, we thought we would focus on what is LIKELY your perspective as the interviewee.


Here are the top 8 tips for being a better interview guest:

1. Come ready to represent your brand

Thinking back to Prince’s early American Bandstand interview, you can see that it was his intention to maintain the mystery that was his brand. Just because interviewers may not understand what you are doing, it is up to you—the artist—to decide HOW you want to be perceived and to come “in character.”

Imposter syndrome?

2. Ask for questions in advance

Having these in advance allows you to provide more thoughtful answers and/or you can do research to be able to answer related to things you’re not quite sure of.

Having the questions in advance will also allow you to be more “thoughtful” in your answers. For instance, you may want to be sure to steer clear of political questions, if that’s your preference. By having a pre-prepared answer at the ready, you can maintain your calm and still not “share too much.” It’s MUCH easier to do this if you already know that this MIGHT be asked of you.

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3. Decide what you plan to share within that interview

The interviewer will have an agenda, but you have to remember that you can use this platform to suit your D.I.Y. Rock Star purpose (which may be to plug a show, tell folks about a new release, etc.). Be sure NOT to end the interview WITHOUT mentioning what you KNOW you came to share. It’s likely the MAIN reason you agreed to do the interview in the first place. Don’t get caught in the conversation so much that you forget to point folks to what you want them to know.

More than one social media?

4. Have links/landing page ready to send folks to

For instance if you want folks to buy show tickets to your show, to access your music, or to check out your social media, have that information in front of you (or at the ready), so that you can share that with listeners/viewers. Find a way to use catchy, easy-to-remember links, so that, if you are speaking on a podcast, it is easy for you to recall and easy for the listener to remember (WITHOUT having to check the episode’s description). This helps you foster a deeper connection with potential fans/listeners.

Branding post:

5. Take care of the logistics

Whether your interview is video, audio, in-person, or online, you will want to have a firm grasp on when the interview will take place, where it will take place, what equipment is necessary (camera, mic, headphones, app), and what links are needed to access the meeting. Be sure to have them and test them in advance. –-You ALSO might want to have a backup plan, just in case you run into technical issues.

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6. Understand what is requested of you afterward

Some folks are EXPECT that the interviewee share the links to the show on all your social media and/or email all of your own mailing list. Be sure you know what is expected, so that you can NOT fall short. -–Remember, if it’s a livestream and you are expected to get folks from your tribe there, it would be in poor spirit NOT to, so be sure you know what you’re supposed to do in advance and after, so that you are a good creative community member.

How to collaborate better?

7. Ask when the show will air

In our case, we want to know when it will be live, so that we can do your best to get as many people there as possible and copy the links for your own media kit.

10k YouTube subscribers?

8. Decide who owns the content

Before the show airs, be sure you both decide what can be done with the interview. Can it be edited into bite-size chunks (for TikTok use), etc.? And are you both okay with using it to advertise for your brand? If there are concerns, iron those out early, so that there are no misunderstandings as you begin to share this final work.