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9 Powerful Live Streaming Interview Tips

Mayra Gomes
Mar 15, 2018
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A big part of live videos is in-person and online interviews. Conducting a live interview is harder than it looks. The interviewer needs to be aware of a thousand things while listening to the guests and thinking about a follow-up question. To help you improve your interviews, we’ve put together this list with 9 powerful live streaming interview tips. If you follow these tips, your interviews will flow better and you will be able to grow your audience.

Next time you are watching a live interview, especially if it’s an interviewer you admire, notice how they conduct the interview. Chances are, they are putting these live streaming interview tips in action. Observation is an important part of improvement and you can learn how they engage with the guest and the audience.  


 Live Streaming Interview Tips

TIP #1 – Research

There’s nothing worse than an interviewer who doesn’t know the guest. It gets uncomfortable for everyone, the guest, the audience and for you, the interviewer. Getting their name right and knowing, at least, the highlights of what they’ve done is non-negotiable. Take some time to do a proper research on your guest.

On your research, make sure you watch other interviews your future guest has been in. Chances are they have been answering the same questions over and over again. Try to think of different questions to ask, so your interview will stand out. Which brings us to the next live streaming interview tip, planning your approach.

TIP #2 – Plan your Approach

There are many angles to go about an interview. For instance, if you have a fitness channel and you interview a professional athlete. Most likely, you would focus on their training or nutrition habits. But, if you focus on motivation and self-improvement, those topics are irrelevant. Your audience would be more interested in knowing the athlete’s morning routing and inspirations.

To plan your approach, think about your audience. Combine what they look for in your videos with your guests’ expertise and you will have a direction to go with the interview. With that in mind, you can write down what you are going to ask the expert.

TIP #3 – Plan of Action

On a more technical side, you need to have a plan of action for how do you want to shoot the interview. To define this plan, take your resources and budget into account. Consider the angles you want, the cuts, the set, the background and so on.

Watch other interviews to get ideas for your own. When watching them on TV and on live videos online, take notice of the cuts, transitions and different points of view they use. Try to apply some of that, within your possibilities, to create interesting interviews.

TIP #4 – Prepare the interviewee

Unless your guests are experienced and prefer not to know what you planned for the interview, make sure they are always in the know. Even the most charismatic people crumble under unexpected questions on live interviews. It’s important to talk to your guests before you go live, let them know the topics you want to cover. Give them an outline, so they can prepare.

It helps you build a relationship with the guests, which is key to a great interview. It will also help your guests calm the nerves and give the interview a nice flow. Much better than making your guests struggle to answer questions they didn’t expect.

TIP #5 – Introduction

At the beginning of your live video, it’s a common practice to introduce your guests. There are presenters who prefer to keep it short and let the guests introduce themselves. It’s entirely up to you. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes, think about what would you prefer and go with it.

Whatever introduction you decide to go with, take your time to prepare it before the live session. Write about your interviewee’s achievements and why he or she is important for your community. Take this moment to get your audience engaged and set their expectations while setting your guests for success.

TIP #6 – Know your technology

Technology plays a huge role in live streaming videos. Although, despite common perception, you don’t need a huge budget. You can get a good enough live streaming setup without breaking the bank. Once you have a proper setup, make sure you test everything and keep a checklist with you at all times.

It’s important that you have a general understanding of how things work during a live session. Not only the hardware but also the software you might use. This might also give you ideas of what can be done. But, if it isn’t for you, make sure you have someone by your side that gets it.

TIP #7 – Focus on your guests

Even if you know how to work with all the technical aspects of a live interview, you should still get someone else to help you with that. Your focus must be on your guests. The challenge for interviewers is being focused on their guests while still thinking about the next question. It’s not easy and many interviewers, new or experienced, struggle with this. They end up asking something the interviewee just answered.

TIP #8 – Asking good questions

As far as live streaming interview tips go, asking good questions is pretty obvious but still unavoidable. Good questions are questions the expert can elaborate upon. They get an opportunity to give your audience insights and interesting information.

When writing down your questions, make sure you also add possible follow-up questions. You should always aim for open-ended questions, which require more elaborate answers. Questions like starting with “What”, “How”, “Why” demand a more in-depth answer. Try not to ask lots of yes or no questions, otherwise, it will sound more like a questioning than an interview.

TIP #9 – Get the audience to ask some questions

Like any other live video, a live interview is a great opportunity to interact with the audience. On live videos, viewers comment 10 times more than on videos on demand, because they want to participate. In fact, it’s not just participation, viewers expect to be acknowledged and become a PART of the live streams.

So, get them to send their questions to your guest and choose the most relevant ones to ask the guest. Make sure you mention the person that sent the question by name and thank them for sending their questions. Some streamers, after the live video is over, go back and answer everyone. It’s a great practice to keep people engaged after the live.


In Summary

Conducting interviews, especially live, requires research, preparation, resources and great communication skills. Each of these live streaming interview tips can help you become a better interviewer and grow your audience. With practice, conducting live interviews will become second nature to you.  You won’t have to think about these live streaming interview tips anymore because they will be automatic. Until then, make notes of them and push yourself to keep applying them.

Before every live interview, do your research, plan your approach and have a plan of action. To make sure the interview flows smoothly, prepare your guest and give him or her a great introduction. While conducting the interview, keep your focus on your guest and let someone else handle all the technicalities of your live video. Most importantly, ask great questions and get the audience to participate. Your live interviews will be amazing!

Do you have any live streaming interview tips you want to share? Leave them in the comment section below!



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