6 Questions to Ask your Guest to 10X your Podcast Content Quality

6 Questions to Ask your Guest to 10X your Podcast Content Quality

If you prefer watching over reading, I've also made a video explaining the entire blog:

Your podcast interview will only be as good as the questions you ask and your ability to dig deep into the conversation. 

Voltaire once said, "Judge a podcast host by his questions rather than his answers." This means the questions we ask are super important. They decide what kind of answers we get. So, if we learn to ask better questions, we'll likely get better answers.

If you can't nudge your guest into sharing insightful and engaging answers, your podcast will just blend into the sea of mediocre interview shows out there.

As a host, it's your responsibility to research your guest and craft questions that showcase their expertise and story.

In this blog, I'll share with you 6 questions to ask your guest to ensure your podcast stands out from the crowd. Also, remember the true art lies in actively listening to their responses and seizing opportunities to ask follow-up questions.

You don’t need to go overboard but some variety to spice things up is a good start. Also, stick till the end to get access to the podcast question cheat sheet. 

So here are 6 types of questions that you need to add to your podcast today.

#1 Contrarian POV 

Asking a contrarian POV on a podcast makes things spicy! It stirs up lively conversations and brings out fresh perspectives. By challenging the norm and sparking debates, guests get to share their real thoughts, making each episode a roller coaster of ideas. Listeners love the excitement of hearing different opinions, and it keeps the podcast interesting and full of surprises.

And the best part? They make great hooks for your repurposed short-form videos. The CEO of YouTube himself says the success of a short video depends on the hook in his conversation with Emily Chang in What YouTube’s CEO Really Thinks About YouTube. Don’t believe me? Skip to 13:08 and listen to it for yourself!

Here are a few questions that you can ask your guest:

  • What's that thing everyone in your industry swears by, but you're convinced is just an inside joke gone wrong?
  • What's the idea about X in your industry that makes you roll your eyes so hard they almost fall out?
  • What's the industry rule you'd love to break just to see what happens?
  • What's a big misunderstanding about what you do that you wish people would stop believing?
  • What's something 'normal' in your industry that you think is just stopping us from getting better?
  • What are common industry points of view that you strongly disagree with?

Here’s a great example of it. In this video, Gary Vaynerchuk shares his unique POV. While a lot of people believe that live streaming is outdated and boring. He shares a different perspective. Such videos challenge the norm making them more interesting.

#2 Open Ended Questions

If I have to put it in a simple way then, there can be 2 types of questions - closed and open. Closed questions are those that typically elicit brief responses, often limited to a single word or chosen from a predefined set of options. Like yes/no inquiries, multiple-choice queries, or those seeking specific details. Some examples are:

  • Do you like working in the X industry?
  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • How many clients have you served so far?

Open questions are the ones that encourage respondents to provide detailed, qualitative responses rather than simple yes or no answers.

Here are few examples:

  • What are the top 3 things you like about working in the X industry and why?
  • What are your biggest lessons in X years of your career as Y?
  • What is the craziest client story you have?
  • How did you hit the X clients mark?
  • What unique experiences or insights do you have that others in your field might not?
  • Which of your products/features are you looking to promote more heavily and why? 
  • Can you share a memorable B2B marketing campaign that defied conventional strategies and achieved remarkable success? What made it stand out?
  • What role do you believe storytelling plays in B2B marketing, and can you provide an example of a brand that effectively leverages storytelling to connect with its audience?

Such kinds of questions will encourage the guests to share their story, experiences, success and failure making the conversation more smooth and candid.

#3 Hypothetical Questions

Hypothetical questions inject creativity and imagination into a podcast conversation, making it more dynamic and engaging for both the guest and the audience. These types of questions invite listeners to mentally participate in the conversation by imagining themselves in the scenario being discussed. This increases engagement and encourages active participation from the audience.

Here are a few examples:

  • Imagine you have unlimited resources and budget for a B2B marketing campaign. What out-of-the-box strategies would you implement to ensure maximum impact and ROI? [This can only happen in a hypothetical scenario😂]
  • If you could travel back in time and advise your younger self at the beginning of your B2B marketing career, what key lessons or insights would you share to accelerate your professional growth?
  • Imagine you're tasked with rebranding a Hubspot that's struggling to stay relevant in the digital age. What strategies would you implement to revitalize their brand identity and market positioning?
  • If you had a magic wand & could fix 1 problem in your industry/life - what would you solve, why is it important to solve, and how are you tackling that currently?

#4 Make your Guest a Critic! 

Remember those old TV shows where the host would show viral videos and everyone would react? We're putting a modern twist on that concept.

Pick up conversational posts from social media from industry experts and ask your guests their opinions about it.

The advantage of this is that   

For instance, LinkedIn recently launched its collaborative articles feature, where contributing to 3 or more articles on the same topic earns you an expert badge. This has sparked a debate on the platform. While many people have started actively contributing, a certain section of the audience has been posting about how that is not right. They argue that you can’t become a top voice in a domain by just answering 3 questions. You can highlight such posts and ask your guests for their opinions on such issues. 

This will give you amazing catchy clips for social media as well. Such as -“X’s hot take on LinkedIn Collaborative Articles” or “LinkedIn Collaborative Articles: Yay or Nay?”.

Here’s another example:

When Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of Thread it took the internet by storm and safe to say a cold war started.

You can make use of such topical topics and ask your guests to react to such sassy savage posts and have a good laugh. 

Follow by asking what they prefer. Thread or X?

This brings us to the next type of question.

#5 This or That? And Why?

These questions are simple and straightforward, making it easy for anyone to participate without much thought or effort. Participants can quickly choose between two options, leading to immediate responses and keeping the conversation flowing. Despite their simplicity, these questions can provoke deeper thought and reflection, especially when the options are related to the participants' interests or experiences.

You can make "this or that" questions more interesting and challenging by pairing options that usually go together or complement each other.

Here are few examples:

  • SEO optimization or paid search campaigns?
  • Video content or blog posts?
  • Organic reach or paid advertising?
  • B2B marketing or B2C marketing?
  • Data-driven strategies or creative campaigns?
  • Customer retention or customer acquisition?
  • Long-form content or short-form content?
  • Instagram story or Instagram Post?
  • Reels or Tik Tok?
  • Threads or X (Twitter)?

Sometimes your audience might just choose one and end the answer with 1 word replies. To ensure you get what you want, ask follow up questions like: Why’s that? Is it a personal preference? Any particular reason/story for your inclination towards X over Y? So the Why and the follow up questions are important here.

You can keep asking the same questions to different guests and collate all answers into a single clip. Great way to get a group of people’s opinion on the same topic.

#6 Layman’s Show

Paint me like one of your French girls is so outdated [also, inappropriate]. Instead, ask your guest to explain it to you like you're a 5-year-old child. 

In this segment, you can ask your guest to explain some jargon from their industry in simple words. It can go 2 ways. You get really good informative content or you can see them struggle through it. Either way, you will get interesting content.

Emily Chang did something similar when she asked YouTube CEO Neal Mohan to explain the YouTube algorithm in What YouTube’s CEO Really Thinks About YouTube. In the same podcast, she also asks controversial questions like Is YouTube Shorts your answer to TikTok? and How is YouTube dealing with creator burnout, which is causing many content creators to quit their careers? This takes us back to point 2 of this blog.

And brings us to the end of the questions that you can ask your guest to improve your podcast quality. But let this not be the end of your creativity. Create multiple segments within your podcast and keep your audience on their toes. Don’t let them know your next move!😉 Just Kidding!

Don’t forget the key takeaway though. The sole aim of incorporating these questions is to break the monotony and create amazing content that can be repurposed into more amazing clips.

Asking varied types of questions is more likely to produce memorable, shareable clips that can be used to promote the podcast on social media. 

I've watched over 100+ podcasts, and to be honest, most B2B podcasts are meh. You don't have to be one of them. Neither do you have to break your head over how to escape the vicious trap of boring content.

Here are 80+ podcast interview questions that you can use as it is or customize for your guests. There are millions of things to take care of when you host a podcast. Let drafting and asking the right questions be off that list permanently.

Access the podcast interview questions cheat sheet now!

Happy podcasting!

Create less, repurpose more!

Arpita Lenka

Helping you create more content with less effort.