I’ve been listening to a lot of talk radio recently, both about sports, politics and other issues.  I’ve noticed that there tend to be 2 kinds of interviewers.

The first kind does interviews really to show how great he (from the hosts I’ve heard, they’re predominantly male).  He asks leading questions to really verify and show how great his opinions are.  He could be interviewing the best expert on the given topic, but really the questions are just showing what the host already knows.  These tend to be closed questions which then are compounded and stir towards a specific outcome/agenda. The interviewer becomes the focus of the interview.

The second kind interviews to help the audience explore and understand an issue.  It is drawing out what the interviewee knows and can contribute to the conversation.  The questions tends to be more open, allowing the interviewee to expound and elaborate on what s/he knows.  The interviewer is in a state of curiosity because s/he wants to know more rather than just showing what s/he already knows.  The interviewee becomes the focus of the interview.

I hope that when I ask questions, whether in an interview, in a coaching session or some other context, I remain in a state of curiosity and want whom I’m asking questions to really show what they think.