Have you ever had a guest on your show and things didn’t go as expected? Have you ever had a situation where your guest’s mic didn’t work or the lighting wasn’t great or the quality fluctuated? Those experiences can be frustrating for you and your guest. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to solve those issues. Make sure you have and use an interview guest checklist and tech check. Don’t have one yet? No worries. You can steal this interview guest checklist and make it your own.
Want to watch instead of read? Here’s Ecamm Community Manager, Doc Rock, and the incredible Diana Gladney to walk you through the entire checklist and tech check.
Doc Rock’s Interview Guest Checklist
Before we get into the actual checklist, make sure you update your guest booking process to properly set expectations. Be sure to let your guest know that you’ll be doing a quick 10 minute tech check. Have your guest call into the show in advance. Ideally, at the same time as when the show will be.
Once your guest dials in for the tech check, go through this checklist (literally read it and jot down notes as you go). And be sure to use Ecamm Live’s record only feature to grab a quick recording of your test so you can watch it back and make any adjustments you need before the show.
Will you be calling in from a computer or a phone?
Ideally, you want your guest calling in from a computer because it offers more options for improving the quality, but if they only have a phone as an option, then that’s fine. Just make sure you jot down a note so you know how to set up your scenes and plan according.
Are you using hardwired internet or wifi?
Hardwired internet is always better, but not always possible. If your guest is going to be coming in via wifi, you may want to walk them through a speed test and consider the time that they’re joining your interview at. If your guest is on wifi in a residential area, try to avoid interviewing during busier internet times like right after school or later in the evening when people may be streaming TV shows or movies or playing video games.
What camera are you using?
There are lots of camera options out there and understanding how your guest is going to look is important. During the tech check, you can do things like adjust your guest’s camera settings in Ecamm Live or recommend options like Camo by Reincubate if your guest doesn’t have a good camera, but has a newer phone.
Do you have video lighting?
Is your guest going to be using natural lighting or do they have other options? If natural lighting is the only option available, make sure you’re doing the tech check at the same time of day at the actual interview so you’ll know how the shot is going to look.
What microphone are you using?
Is your guest using a USB microphone? An XLR microphone? Do they have headphones or earphones ready? Make sure that the sound is coming through and that you’re not hearing any echo or experiencing audio issues. Have your guest answer some questions or share a story with you so you can adjust their audio during the test, if needed.
One thing to suggest to your guest is to have a back-up mic available and sitting close by. Even if the back-up is a set of AirPods, it’s better to have something to fall back on in case of any audio problems during the show.
Pro Tip! Try to avoid turning the audio levels all the way up in Ecamm Live. You want to have some ability to adjust once you’re live in case viewers ask you to turn it up or down.
Are you plugged in or will you be running off a battery?
This is a question both for your guest’s camera and also for their computer. If your guest can be plugged in, you’ll just have a better experience all around. Bonus points if they’re also able to have back-up cables at the ready in case something happens.
You’ve got this!
Interviews are an amazing way to build your brand, grow your audience, and delight your viewers and listeners. Implementing an interview guest checklist is just one way to help ensure that the experience goes as smoothly as possible.
Have an amazing checklist of your own? Share it with us in the Community with #InterviewChecklist.