Guest Guide

Equipment

The ideal equipment would be an omnidirectional studio mic with pop shield, shock mount and headphones for listening. But that’s for the seasoned podcaster.

Alternatively, a standard headset should yield good results with the mic close to your mouth but not in direct line (just above or below is good).

Earbuds are OK for audio but can come through quite distant and the cable can scratch on your clothing and face causing annoying crackling in the recording.

If you need to use your mobile phone or tablet, let me know so I can provide access to suitable software that may require downloading in advance (although I try to use a web client where possible).

Environment

Try to find somewhere quiet and distraction-free with decent internet connection. Ideally, we will record with video to improve conversation so let me know if this will be a problem.

Consider the acoustics of the room too. Try to find somewhere with less reverb/echo (bathrooms and kitchens aren’t great, rooms with soft furnishings and low ceilings are better).

The call will take about an hour from start to finish so make sure you’re comfortable for the conversation. Sitting should help but, if you have a standing desk, let me know in case you need to take a break for moving.

Software

Skype is the most convenient for hosting the call as (a) it offers support across all devices and (b) it even records the call automatically.

However, it would also be ideal to record your personal audio locally using something like QuickTime. Just make sure the audio quality is set to “High” rather than “Maximum”. Then export and share the final file (typically M4A) via a cloud-storage provider like Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud to simon.jobling@gmail.com

Conversation

The format of the discussion is relatively free-flowing but there will be a standard guide we’ll use to navigate our conversation:

  1. Your career path to where you are now
  2. Working arrangements
  3. Personal wellbeing (health, fitness, family, medical challenges)
  4. Any side projects you’d like to discuss (past, present and future)
  5. Advice for listeners of how to get into tech

I’ll provide a personalised outline a few days ahead of our call (along with a calendar reminder) so you’ve got an opportunity to be prepared with the structure but we are likely to go off on tangents or swap things around a little based on how it flows.

If there are any distractions or tech outages (they can happen), we may have to recap but I’ll let you know where we got to then edit in post-production. It’s a two-way thing too; if you experience glitches your end, please let me know. We can rewind and try again.

Gaps are actually good (and much easier to edit in post-production). Don’t feel uncomfortable if I take a moment to acknowledge or continue conversation. It’s a nice buffer to work with and avoid talking over you. Where possible, try to consider this your end too. It might feel a little unnatural but silence can be a powerful thing in some conversations.

Lastly, relax and enjoy it! This isn’t an interrogation but an insightful opportunity to offload and share your story. The audience loves authenticity and honesty so use this as a platform to relate to the listeners.