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Interview Your Players Before Starting a Trivia Show

Interview Your Players Before Starting a Trivia Show

“Build a rapport, entertain and keep the players (and audience engaged) by carrying out an effective interview with your players prior to the show”


Over the past month or so we have been delving into the wide world of trivia discussing every matter from promotion to questions to getting booked, all of which I hope has helped you develop your trivia business more and attract more customs. Keep an eye on the blog for upcoming subjects including more advice on selling yourself and ideas on controlling cheating.


But today we are going to look at a different subject altogether and that is the importance of conducting an interview with your players before starting a trivia show. Now, it goes without saying that what we are going to talking about here is more to do with when a “show” or “event” is being hosted rather than just standard pub trivia so please consider that.


Interview Your Players Before Starting a Trivia Show – The Reasons

Any trivia show depends on the contestants being involved and wanting to be involved.  That goes without saying really – no contestants = no show. But you also need to engage the audience so let us look at the two main reasons for interviewing a player prior to the show starting –


  • Making it fun to play

Above all else, anyone sitting watching the show should feel like they “want” to take part and building a good rapport with customers and players will certainly help you achieve this. If the conversation on stage is funny, interesting and personal then people are going to WANT to play. If it is cold, pointless and meaningless it will put them off.



  • Engaging the audience

Primarily, one of the key reasons to conduct an effective interview with players prior to the show starting is so you can ensure that the audience sitting watching the event are engaged and involved. If it’s simply random facts and random people answering questions then it becomes far less interesting and engaging that if there has been a little interview conducted in which they feel they have gotten to know the players a little bit better. The more involved the audience are the better and the more likely they are to want to return time after time….and have a go themselves.



Interview Your Players Before Starting a Trivia Show – What to say, ask and do?


Now I guess comes the difficult part and that is knowing what to say, do and ask. The first mission is to let the contestant express their personality, give the audience a flavor of what they are about and get the player comfortable. If your questioning and interview style does neither of those elements then you are doing it wrong. Bad questions and unnecessary comments can have the direct opposite effect and turn the players against you giving you an uphill struggle from the start!



First off let us look at the questions you might want to ask your players. I like to vary it up and make sure everyone gets asked a different questions. Going down the line simple saying “What do you for a living?” time after time will get very boring for the audience (and let’s not forget very boring for you!).


Interview Your Players Before Starting a Trivia Shows – Suggested Questions –

What was your worst subject in school?
Best subject in school?
What do you like to do for fun in this city?
What 3 words best describe you?

How do you relax?
Who are you most worried about will beat you?
What do you value the most in life? Money, friends, or Happiness?

Is there anyone who has come along to support you in the audience?

Tell us a joke….

What is your party trick?


Then when you get the answers have some quirky replies ready…if they tell you their occupation make a joke from it. But always remember to judge the person that is standing in front of you first before you decide what kind of jokes to tell or jibes to make. What might be funny to one player could very well insult another and vice versa so tread very carefully indeed and always remember that the aim is that everyone enjoys the night so no one should be made to feel uncomfortable.


  • Don’t just make it a simple question then answer, question then answer activity though.
  • Have some fun with it, throw in a few jokes and one liners and make sure the conversation moves at a fast pace.
  • You don’t want to grill them so much they have nothing to say.


The interview prior to the show also means you can get a flavor of the player themselves, see how far they can go and how far you can go with them and get an idea of the kind of game you can expect. Utilize what they tell you, so for example if they tell you they are good at history and they get a history question wrong, don’t let them forget it.


In essence therefore, the key reasons for interviewing your players are –


  • To build a rapport with them
  • To allow them to express themselves and put across who they are
  • To get them comfortable
  • To keep the audience involved
  • To give the audience someone to root for


It is all essential to the success of a trivia show and if all the players are comfortable and if everyone feels relaxed it will lead to a much more open, outgoing and fun show. The audience will be more involved and you have gotten your night off to the best possible start. People will return time after time and venue owners will be queuing up to book your services!


Stay tuned to the blog for upcoming posts, hints, tips and advice on the wild and whacky world of trivia hosting.


Thank you, as always, for reading!

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