The Top 5 Interviewers Who You Should Know About
The Art of the Interview: Learn from the Masters
What's the secret sauce to a great interview? As an avid listener, I'm always on the lookout for the interviewers who have the magic touch. Those who captivate their audience and ask the right questions. In this article, I'm excited to share my top 5 favourite interviewers, the ones who stand out from the crowd and set the bar high.
1. Sean Evans, Host of Hot Ones
Hot Ones is a YouTube web series that has captured the attention of millions worldwide. Hosted by Sean Evans, the show's format is unique, and it has become renowned for its entertaining interviews with celebrities and public figures. During the show, guests eat increasingly spicy hot wings, which adds an extra layer of excitement and drama to the conversation.
Sean Evans is a standout interviewer for several reasons. One of his most impressive skills is his ability to conserve words. He limits himself to only one or two sentences, which means that he has to be very careful and intentional with his choice of words. This approach allows his guests to speak freely and encourages them to share their thoughts and stories.
Another reason why Sean is such a great interviewer is his knack for asking well-researched questions that often surprise his guests. This approach not only shows that he has done his homework, but it also makes the guests feel seen and valued.
Sean is also known for taking his conversations in unexpected directions, making the interviews more well-rounded and timeless. For example, in his interview with Pedro Pascal, they discuss topics that go beyond the actor's recent work in Game of Thrones, The Mandalorian, or The Last of Us, such as people Pedro admires in the film industry.
All these aspects combined make Hot Ones an entertaining, informative, and addictive show. As someone who admires the art of interviewing, Sean Evans is undoubtedly one of the best in the game.
2. Ariel Helwani, Host of the MMA Hour
Ariel Helwani is a legendary interviewer who hosts the MMA Hour, where he engages in discussions with fighters and delves into the world of Mixed Martial Arts for up to 4.5 hours per episode. Each episode features 4-5 guests with different stories, requiring Helwani to adapt from potentially sad interviews to positive, happy conversations, and everything in between.
It is clear that Helwani takes his role as a host seriously, as evidenced by his meticulous approach to research. During his first interview with a new guest, he often highlights their background and discusses the challenges they have overcome. In subsequent episodes, he works to showcase the unique aspects of his guests and helps them share their story.
One example of Helwani's innovative approach is the segment 'Cooking with Volk,' in which he invited Alexander Volkanovski, the featherweight champion of the UFC, to showcase his cooking skills. Rather than simply asking about his favorite dish, Helwani created a cooking segment, showcasing Volkanovski's culinary talents.
For three years, I had a daily commute to law school that took 4-5 hours, and Helwani's show made these commutes enjoyable. Through his interviews, I learned about the passions and interests of fighters and gained a deeper appreciation for the fight game. Helwani is a constant source of inspiration for me on how to conduct the best interviews and keep guests and listeners engaged.
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3. Lex Fridman, Host of the Lex Fridman Podcast
Lex Fridman provides a blueprint for faciliating engaging conversations with guests from diverse backgrounds while maintaining a humble approach. He frequently reminds his followers on social media that he is open to speaking with anyone and discussing any topic. Even during Kanye West's latest controversy, Fridman approached the conversation with patience, understanding, and a willingness to listen and empathize.
In an age where short-form content dominates social media platforms such as Instagram reels, YouTube shorts, and TikTok, Fridman demonstrates that there is still a strong appetite for long-form, thoughtful dialogues. His platform allows listeners to gain insight into the perspectives of influential individuals on complex issues, without resorting to clickbait questions. The expectation is that listeners are willing to actively listen and learn.
I have great respect for Fridman's willingness to engage with individuals from all perspectives and to maintain a platform that allows for a deep exploration of complex topics. Through his approach, he takes his guests and listeners on an intellectual journey, asking challenging questions and encouraging thoughtful discussions.
4. Patrick Bet David
Patrick Bet David presents a unique approach to interviewing, which involves challenging the perspective of his guests and engaging in heated debates where necessary. He believes that being a good host does not necessarily mean endorsing the guest's views, but rather involves challenging preconceived notions and assumptions.
Bet David adopts a non-partisan approach, inviting guests from different political leanings by challenging them with ideas from the opposite point of view. This approach welcomes various points of views on topics and helps guests to understand their own perspectives on a deeper level.
As a listener of the PBD Podcast, I find the show to be a valuable resource for gaining new perspectives and challenging my own views. As a host of my own podcast, I am inspired to follow Bet David's example and ask tough follow-up questions when necessary to keep my guests engaged and encourage meaningful conversations.
5. Andrew Huberman, Host of Huberman Lab
Dr. Andrew Huberman stands out as a refreshing voice in the world of science, unlike many experts who can be intimidating to their audience. He conducts interviews with sleep, fitness, and diet experts, but what sets him apart is his ability to make complex content accessible. Dr. Huberman readily acknowledges his limitations, welcomes teasing from his guests, and is not afraid to laugh at himself. He makes learning about health fun and engaging, encouraging guests to use plain language and providing listeners with actionable steps to improve their well-being. It is no wonder some of his videos have over 1 million views on YouTube.