Interviewing / Hosting 101

Jeffrey Callison, Insight
Capital Public Radio

General points

  • The first question should address the main reason why the guest is on Insight
  • Follow up by focusing on questions that ask “how” and “why” (the “when”, “where”, “what” and “who” can best be addressed in the intro, in resets and in passing elsewhere)
  • Toward the end, try to go off on a tangent with a personal or quirky or unexpected question that sheds more light on the guest or the topic
  • It’s usually best to end with a question that looks to the future

Miscellaneous tips

  • Take the guest back to a formative moment and ask what they were thinking and feeling at that time; also what they saw or heard
  • What does the guest know now that would have been good to know then?
  • Make connections between now and the past
  • Make connections between different aspects of the guest’s life or the topic


  • When you have multiple guests, it’s usually best to start with a “real person”, if you have one, so that there’s human interest value; academics should be brought in later to add depth of knowledge and perspective
  • Guest info, transitions and production elements are vital details; if you have all that under control, you can focus all (or most) of your attention on the conversation
  • Regardless of how often this information was checked in pre-production, check the guests’ personal details by saying their name and title out loud and asking them to confirm that you have it right; better they correct you during the break than during the segment!