The 20 Best Interview Podcasts of 2024 (+ Best Practices)

Use this guide to discover the 20 best interview podcasts of 2024 - including a bunch of best practices & tips to help you conduct better podcast interviews.

a month ago   •   13 min read

By Yvonne Ivanescu

Is there anything better than getting pulled into a fascinating interview? The kind where questions reveal unexpected truths, insights unfurl, and the conversation flows effortlessly.

For many of us, these engaging exchanges highlight our podcast playlists. They offer both entertainment and enlightenment in one captivating package.

However, choosing the best interview podcasts can be a challenge. But fear not - we’ve carefully selected (and broken down) our favorite shows guaranteed to draw you in and keep you coming back for more. We’ve also rounded up some best practices and top tips to help you become a better interviewer.

Ready to transform your commute or coffee breaks into mini-masterclasses? Let’s go...

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What Makes a Good Interview Podcast?

Before exploring our top interview podcast picks, let’s pinpoint what makes the good ones “good”.

1. Thorough Preparation

It begins with extensive research on the guest to gather comprehensive background information. This includes understanding their career highlights, personal stories, and any recent events they’ve been involved in.

A well-prepared host also explores the guest's previous interviews to find new angles and avoid rehashing the same questions. Knowing the audience is equally important. Hosts should tailor their questions to align with the interests and expectations of their listeners.

Additionally, preparation involves planning the interview structure. This means having a list of questions and being flexible enough to veer off from the script when the conversation takes an interesting turn.

With meticulous preparation, a host can confidently steer the conversation meaningfully, making each episode unique and engaging.

2. An Engaging & Skilled Host

The host's role is pivotal. A good host is knowledgeable about the subject and skilled in directing conversations, managing time, and making guests feel at ease. The result? Conversations that are both insightful and connect with the target audience.

Reading the guest’s comfort levels and adjusting the pacing of the dialogue is essential for maintaining a natural flow.

A skilled host also knows how to manage the conversation's tempo - knowing when to delve deeper and when to transition to keep the episode lively and engaging. Additionally, adaptability in handling unexpected moments helps maintain the episode’s smooth flow.

3. Active Listening

A good host doesn't just hear their guests. They truly listen and engage with the content being shared. This means focusing intently, asking follow-up questions that delve deeper, and responding in ways that show genuine understanding and interest. Active listening can open up new avenues in the conversation, revealing insights and stories that might otherwise remain hidden.

It also makes guests feel respected and valued, encouraging them to share more freely and authentically. For listeners, it transforms the episode into a dynamic and immersive experience.

4. High-Quality Questions

Good questions constructively challenge the guest, prompting them to think and reflect before answering. These questions should be open-ended to encourage detailed responses and should steer clear of simple “yes” or “no” answers.

Crafting such questions requires thorough preparation and an understanding of the guest's background and the audience's interests. Practical questions elicit informative and engaging content and drive the podcast's narrative forward, keeping the audience engaged and eager for more.

5. Relevant & Diverse Guests

What elevates an interview podcast from good to great is often its lineup of guests. A host should aim to feature guests who not only resonate with the intended audience but also bring a diverse range of perspectives.

This ensures the podcast remains relevant and appealing to listeners while fostering a broader understanding through varied dialogues. Mixing up guests from different backgrounds or with different viewpoints can prevent the content from becoming stagnant and keeps the audience engaged episode after episode.

Strategically choosing guests who complement each other’s stories or themes can also create a richer, more comprehensive listening experience.

6. Listener Engagement

Finally, something that is often overlooked is how a component of a successful interview podcast engages its audience. Engagement doesn't just keep listeners coming back - it also transforms them into active participants of the podcast community.

Hosts can enhance engagement by integrating listener-generated content, such as questions or topic suggestions, into their episodes. Engaging directly with listeners through social media, email, or podcast platforms also keeps the dialogue flowing beyond the podcast itself.

These efforts make listeners feel valued and deepen their connection to the podcast, increasing their loyalty and the likelihood that they’ll share it with others.

The 20 Best Interview Podcasts of 2024

No messing around here. Let’s get straight into it.

1. Armchair Expert

Armchair Expert podcast artwork

Hosted by actor and comedian Dax Shepard, Armchair Expert offers a mix of celebrity interviews and deep dives into the nuances of human behavior.

Shepard’s laid-back and empathetic interviewing style allows him to connect with guests profoundly, uncovering personal stories and truths rarely shared in more formal settings.

This approachable style breaks down barriers between celebrities and listeners, making each episode feel like a conversation between friends. The podcast covers various topics - from mental health and addiction, to family and career. It’s not only entertaining but also profoundly relatable and enlightening.

2. The Joe Rogan Experience

The Joe Rogan Experience podcast artwork

The Joe Rogan Experience, hosted by comedian Joe Rogan, is one of the most popular podcasts globally. It is known for its long, unscripted interviews and a wide array of guests including comedians, scientists, authors, and political figures.

Rogan’s interviewing technique is characterized by his unfiltered curiosity and willingness to explore controversial topics, making for dynamic and often unpredictable conversations. His ability to discuss complex subjects casually helps demystify them for the audience. His style provides both entertainment and education in a single package.

Rogan's knack for making his guests feel comfortable discussing their lives and opinions has turned his podcast into a cultural phenomenon.

3. WTF with Marc Maron

WTF with Marc Maron podcast artwork

Hosted by comedian Marc Maron, the podcast features interviews that often turn into therapeutic sessions, with guests opening up about personal crises and pivotal moments in their lives.

Maron’s openness about his struggles creates a unique sense of trust and intimacy, encouraging guests to share more freely. This authenticity and depth transform each episode into a compelling exploration of the human condition.

WTF is a captivating listen that allows guests to express themselves in ways that listeners have never heard.

4. The Tim Ferriss Show

The Tim Ferriss Show podcast artwork

Host Tim Ferriss dives deep into the routines of top performers across various fields. Each episode dissects success, revealing actionable insights that listeners can apply.

Ferriss' meticulous preparation before interviews ensures questions are both thoughtful and provoking. His ability to simplify complex ideas into practical steps makes the podcast a treasure trove for personal and professional development.

Guests open up about their productivity, creativity, and wellness strategies, guided by Ferriss' expert navigation. This podcast is an essential resource for anyone looking to optimize their life, delivering conversations and pathways to excellence.

5. SmartLess

SmartLess podcast artwork

SmartLess, hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett, blends humor with unexpected revelations. Each episode features a mystery guest, adding an element of surprise that enhances the spontaneity and engagement of the conversation.

The hosts’ chemistry and their different personalities bring a dynamic energy that keeps the dialogue lively and entertaining. This format allows the audience to discover each guest through jokes and genuine curiosity.

SmartLess stands out for its entertaining approach to revealing the more personal side of well-known personalities. The podcast creates a fun atmosphere while still delivering meaningful insights into its guests' lives.

6. Anna Faris is Unqualified

Anna Faris is Unqualified podcast artwork

In Anna Faris is Unqualified, actress Anna Faris offers a mix of comedy and heartfelt advice. Each episode features celebrity guests engaging in candid conversations and tackling listener questions on personal issues, giving the podcast a blend of sincerity and humor.

Faris makes her guests and listeners feel at ease, encouraging open and often touching exchanges. Her unique approach to blending personal anecdotes with guest experiences makes the podcast relatable and comforting. This combination of empathy and humor has made Unqualified a go-to for fans looking for entertainment and insight.

7. Call Her Daddy

Call Her Daddy podcast artwork

Call Her Daddy, hosted by Alex Cooper, breaks all the rules with its bold and unapologetic take on sexual relationships, dating, and lifestyle topics.

Cooper’s charismatic and candid style invites guests to open up about taboo topics, creating a platform for honest and uninhibited discussions. Her ability to mix humor with serious conversation appeals to a young, engaged audience. Each episode is both a learning experience and a source of entertainment.

Call Her Daddy has grown from a podcast into a cultural phenomenon by pushing the boundaries of traditional content and encouraging its listeners to openly own their desires and insecurities.

8. How I Built This

How I Built This podcast artwork

How I Built This with Guy Raz explores the stories behind the people who created some of the world’s most successful companies. Raz’s insightful questioning draws out the narrative of each entrepreneur’s journey, highlighting the highs and lows of building a business.

His ability to connect the dots between the personal and professional makes each interview not just a lesson in entrepreneurship but a more broadly appealing human story. Featuring founders of companies like Instagram and Airbnb, Raz demonstrates how innovations are born and sustained.

9. Fresh Air

Fresh Air podcast artwork

Hosted by Terry Gross, Fresh Air from NPR is renowned for its thoughtful and in-depth interviews with various guests. Gross's interviewing technique, characterized by her careful listening and nuanced questions, allows for deep exploration of complex topics.

Her ability to make guests feel comfortable discussing sensitive subjects results in enlightening conversations that span culture, politics, and personal stories. This approach not only educates but also deeply engages listeners.

10. On Being

On Being podcast artwork

On Being with Krista Tippett dives into the more significant questions of life, exploring themes of faith, meaning, and human connection. Tippett's interviews are rich with philosophical inquiry and reflective questioning, inviting guests to share their insights on spirituality and existence.

Her calm demeanour and profound curiosity help unearth thoughtful perspectives. This provides listeners with moments of contemplation and spiritual enrichment. This podcast stands out for its ability to connect deeply personal experiences with universal truths. It appeals to anyone seeking understanding and inspiration in their lives.

11. Table Manners with Jessie and Lennie Ware

Table Manners with Jessie & Lennie Ware podcast artwork

Table Manners with Jessie and Lennie Ware features the mother-daughter duo Jessie and Lennie Ware as they host celebrities for dinner and conversation.

This podcast shines with its informal setting and warm, familial vibe, encouraging guests to share stories as if at a family gathering. The Wares' charming and relatable manner makes each episode feel like a meal with friends. The podcast blends personal anecdotes with genuine interactions.

Their knack for stirring up intimate dialogues over food highlights how meals can create the perfect backdrop for uncovering life's stories.

12. GriefCast

GriefCast podcast artwork

GriefCast is both comforting and enlightening. It explores the often-taboo topic of grief through candid interviews. Hosted by comedian Cariad Lloyd, each episode features a different guest sharing their personal experiences with loss.

Lloyd’s compassionate approach allows guests to open up in ways they might not elsewhere, providing listeners with insights and coping strategies.

The unique blend of humor and heartache makes GriefCast a standout in the podcast world. It offers a rare space where the complexities of grief are discussed openly.

13. The Unmistakable Creative

The Unmistakable Creative podcast artwork

The Unmistakable Creative podcast thrives on its ability to dive deep into the creative process with guests from wildly diverse backgrounds. Host Srinivas Rao conducts interviews that explore the highs and lows of creative work, drawing out inspiring and instructive stories.

Rao’s curiosity helps uncover the often unseen aspects of creativity, from the initial spark to the finished product. His engaging style and the varied nature of the guests keep each episode fresh and exciting. The Unmistakable Creative Podcast is a must-listen for anyone interested in creativity and the personal journeys behind it.

14. The Knowledge Project

The Knowledge Project podcast artwork

The Knowledge Project, hosted by Shane Parrish, is known for unpacking the insights of thought leaders, authors, and experts from various fields. Parrish's interview style is deeply inquisitive, focusing on extracting timeless wisdom that listeners can apply in their own lives.

Each episode explores themes like decision-making, productivity, and mental models in a way that is accessible and actionable. This approach makes The Knowledge Project invaluable for listeners looking to increase their thinking and decision-making skills. It offers deep dives that are both intellectually stimulating and practically useful.

15. Beyond the Shelf

Beyond the Shelf podcast artwork

Hosted by industry insiders, Beyond the Shelf provides a deep dive into the food and beverage sector. It uncovers the forces that shape our dining and drinking habits.

The hosts leverage their expertise to provide detailed insights into innovations, business strategies, and personal challenges within the industry.

This podcast is invaluable for anyone interested in the hows and whys behind their favorite products. It offers a mix of professional analysis and personal stories highlighting the complexity of food production and marketing.

16. The Dave Chang Show

The Dave Chang Show podcast artwork

Chef and restaurateur, David Chang, brings his culinary expertise and passion for food culture to The Dave Chang Show. Through candid conversations with guests from the gastronomic world and beyond, Chang explores the hows of cooking and the whys behind food trends and culinary practices.

His open and often personal dialogue invites listeners into the world of food like no other podcast, blending industry insights with personal stories. The David Chang Show stands out for its unique mix of professional culinary advice and intimate kitchen table conversations.

17. My First Million

My First Million podcast artwork

My First Million offers listeners a front-row seat to the brainstorming sessions of entrepreneurs Sam Parr and Shaan Puri. The podcast distinguishes itself by diving into various business ideas and strategies, analyzing what makes businesses succeed or fail.

The co-hosts bring dynamic experiences and viewpoints, sparking engaging and thought-provoking discussions. Their approach is hands-on and practical, often dissecting real companies and market trends to extract actionable lessons.

This focus on real-world applications and the palpable enthusiasm of the hosts make My First Million a treasure trove for aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners alike.

18. Abundant Ever After

Abundant Ever After podcast artwork

Host Cathy Heller brings an infectious enthusiasm to Abundant Ever After, inspiring listeners to pursue their passions. The podcast features interviews with creative entrepreneurs who share their journeys and the lessons learned along the way.

Heller’s skillful questioning uncovers the practical steps guests took to turn their dreams into reality. This podcast is particularly compelling for its focus on actionable advice and motivational stories. It is a valuable resource for anyone looking to make a significant life or career change.

Heller's genuine interest in her guests' success stories guides listeners to follow in their footsteps.

19. The Gray Area

The Gray Area podcast artwork

The Gray Area offers a platform where experts and thought leaders delve into the pressing issues of our times. Hosts bring clarity and depth to discussions ranging from politics to science, ensuring that complex subjects are discussed and understood.

Their knack for asking pointed, insightful questions allows guests to unpack nuanced viewpoints, making each episode a deep dive into topics that shape our world.

This makes The Gray Area a standout podcast for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary issues through thoughtful, well-informed dialogue.

20. Song Exploder

Song Exploder podcast artwork

Song Exploder is a unique gem in the podcasting world, where musicians take apart their songs and tell how they were made. Each episode features a different artist discussing their creative process, from the initial concept to the finished recording.

Host Hrishikesh Hirway expertly guides the conversations, allowing listeners to see the layers and intricacies of music production. This behind-the-scenes approach deepens the listener's appreciation for the music and illuminates the artist's journey. Song Exploder is a fascinating listen for music lovers and creatives alike.

3 Expert Tips for Enhancing Your Podcast Interview Skills

Now that we’ve finished the list of the best podcast interviews, you’re probably wondering: how do I become a better interviewer? Here are 3 fresh tips to help you become a better interviewer:

  1. Embrace Silence: Sometimes, allowing a moment of silence can encourage your guest to continue their thought or add more detail. Resist the urge to fill every pause with talk. These quiet moments can lead to deeper insights as the guest has space to think and elaborate.
  2. Use Mirroring Techniques: Repeat part of what your guest said. This shows that you are listening and encourages them to expand on their thoughts. For example, if a guest says they love creating art because it's relaxing, you might respond, "It's relaxing? Tell me more about that."
  3. Prepare for Flexibility: While having a prepared list of questions is crucial, being too rigid can make the conversation feel scripted. Prepare to be flexible and follow the exciting paths the conversation might take. This could mean skipping some questions if the guest's responses have already covered them or diving deeper into unexpected topics that arise.

These strategies can help you conduct interviews that are informative and naturally engaging, making your podcast stand out to listeners.

Final Thoughts: The Best Interview Podcasts

Whatever show you dive into, remember that the best interview podcasts challenge, enlighten, and connect us. They bring stories to life, open doors to new worlds, and offer perspectives that enrich our understanding. So, as you explore these top picks, prepare to be pulled into conversations that might change how you see the world.

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