Questions to ask your radio guests

No matter if you are working for one of the biggest radio stations in your local area, or you have your own independent radio show, it is certainly worth considering getting some radio guests on your show to talk to and change it up a bit.

Yes, most people listen to the radio for the music, but these days it is good to add variety to your radio show, and one of the best ways is to add in a talk back section. This can include your listeners calling up to talk with you, the presenter, live on the air, or getting a guest on.

The guest could be a popular artist who is releasing a new album/ single or someone who is really knowledgeable/ an expert in a certain area. For example, if you are going to use one of your segments to talk about relationships, then it would be a good idea to research relationship experts/ therapists in your area and invite them onto the radio show.

If you do lock down a guest to come onto your show, make sure you let people know about (and actually leave enough time to generate more interest). It is a good idea to make posts on your various social media channels letting fans know that a certain person is going to make a special appearance, also if you have a website you should let people know here as well.

But before your guest goes live on the airwaves it is important that you are fully prepared for all that could potentially go wrong. Remember if you radio segment is live; the potential for something to go wrong is much higher.

Think about things like what would happen if your guest is late, or if they aren’t being cooperative. Make sure you have a plan to mitigate the negative impact these types of things could have. The more prepared you are, the less likely something will go wrong!

Being prepared includes putting together a list of questions that you are going to ask your guest. There are a lot of different directions you can take the interview, and it would greatly depend on the guest themselves.

So, make sure you send a list of the potential questions to your guest well before your radio show.. This means that they have time to prepare their answers and also provide guidance as to what areas are off limits and they don’t want to talk about.

If you are stuck for questions when preparing for a guest on your radio show, then have a look below at some areas of questions (as well as actual examples) that can be applied to pretty much any guest you have on your show, it is a great template that can be recycled for any guest:

About the guest questions

When introducing a guest onto your radio station, it is probably a good idea to actually let listeners know a little bit about them! This is where about the guest questions really come in handy, and should probably be the first type of questions you ask your guest.

This can help to get the ball rolling and let listeners know more about the guest on a personal level. There are a lot of different ways you could approach this, you could ask about their life in the past, what they are working on right now or even what they see themselves doing in the future.

Examples of the type of questions you could ask in this area include:

  • Where do you see yourself in a few years’ time?
  • What have been your biggest learning’s from [the project/ album/ book etc.]?
  • What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
  • Who has helped you on your way to success?

Left of field questions

It is good to through in some out of the box type questions to really get the conversation going, just make sure you have been given the approval of your guest first, you don’t want to have an awkward-ish conversation. Left of field questions can help bring a more fun and relaxed tone to the interview.

It can help make the guest feel more comfortable on your radio show which could potentially lead to them opening up and sharing more about themselves. Remember, not all radio interviews are meant to be serious, and listeners will only actually listen if it is interesting, so these types of questions can be really good to drop in here and there.

Examples of the type of questions you could ask in this area include:

  • If you had to give up eating chocolate or watching your favourite TV show, which one would you chop?
  • If you could have one superpower, which one would you choose?
  • Are you a cat person or a dog person?
  • If you were stuck on a desert island what three things would you bring?
  • If you had nothing scheduled for the entire day, what would you do with your time?

Expert in field questions

The person you are interviewing is likely an expert in their field, so make sure you ask the type of questions that they would only know the answer to. People listen to guest radio segments because they what to hear what the experts say about a particular area, so make sure you are getting the guest to talk about what they are an expert in!

These types of questions can also help to get the conversation flowing and it can seem a bit more natural and not like you are just reading off a script. A natural and more engaging conversation will flow better as well as probably help open up the guest more.

Examples of the type of questions you could ask in this area include:

  • How did you get started [in your chosen expert area]?
  • Who were the people that you looked up to or inspired you [in your chosen expert area]?
  • Do you have any advice for people that are trying to break through [in your chosen expert area]?
  • Have you faced any setbacks [in your chosen expert area] and how did you overcome them?

Promotional questions

Sometimes when you have a guest on your radio show they are there to promote something, so it is obviously important that you ask questions about what they are trying to promote. They could be promoting anything, like a new book, movie, business, project, album, product etc.

It is also important to know what they are looking to promote on your show so you can ask the right type of questions. It is important that you spend enough time here on these types of questions to ensure the guest feels like they have adequately spread the word enough.

Examples of the type of questions you could ask in this area include:

  • If our listeners want to stay in touch with what you are working on, how can they do that?
  • Where is the best way to find the [book, movie, business, project, album, product etc.]?
  • How did this all begin and what was your main inspiration?
  • How does this different from all the other [books, movies, businesses, projects, albums, products etc.] that is available out there?