The Interviewer role is designed to give each of the speakers the experience of being questioned on their speech as if they were doing a radio interview, panel discussion or job interview.

For the Interviewer themselves, it offers a role like that of the Linguist, where one must listen attentively in order to provide a different perspective on a speech. Your aim is to provide insightful, revealing and stimulating questions that will challenge each of the speakers and interest the audience.

In a professional context, the skills developed in this role will complement those required as an interviewer or in a management role. It requires engagement, attentive listening and empathy.



On the day


Before the meeting

  • Arrive by 6:45AM!
  • Consider how you’d like to stage to role. Will you invite your speakers to answer their question/s from their place within the audience? Will you invite them all back to stage? What else could you try? What works best for the audience to hear? What makes the best use of the time? (Inviting people to the stage will use more of the available time)


During the meeting

  • Anticipate questions that the audience will find of interest and that will provide a challenge the speaker.
  • The Interview segment is after the vote for “best speaker” and before the Speech Evaluations.
  • The Interviewer briefly introduces the role – what is the value of the interview to the speakers?
  • Resist the temptation to use time to commend the speaker on their speech. Leave that to their evaluator!
  • The Interviewer presents a concise question to one speaker. That speaker stands and responds to the question.
  • Types of questions might include:
    • Questions that seek to gain a better understanding of the topic by prompting the speaker to provide further information to the audience (i.e. Can you tell us more about X, how did you come up with the topic and what was your intention when writing the speech?)
    • Questions where the speaker reflects on their performance (i.e. What do you think you did well and what can you do better next time? What have you learned from delivering this speech?)
  • The timings for replies are 30 seconds (green), 45 seconds (amber), 60 seconds (red). If it’s a short answer, the interviewer may ask an additional question. That question and its reply remains within the sixty second constraints.
  • Repeat with Speakers 2 and 3.
  • After all of interviews have been conducted, the Interviewer concludes the role and returns the stage to the Toastmaster.