Questions for talent show contestants

Since Opportunity Knocks, there has been a long history of talent shows in the UK from popular television programs such as New Faces, Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent through to competitions held in local towns and villages across the country. Although the formats have evolved, interviewing contestants before and after their performance has remained a feature and asking the right questions can determine whether the contestant is interesting or not.

Where they live

Asking where a contestant is from can inspire the audience to support and vote for them if they live locally or share are from the same area. This can give the contestant a confidence boost if the audience claps or cheers.

Background questions

Finding out about a contestant's background such as what they do for a living or about their family can be interesting especially if the answer is unusual. Their story can help paint a picture of their journey to potential stardom or in the cases of some television talent shows; create sympathy if the story is particularly sad. Some contestants however may not like to talk about their personal details in public if they have experienced trauma in their life.

How long they have performed

Many talent show contestants have had a long history in performing but haven't had their lucky break yet while others are just starting out. Knowing how long they have been performing can help find out more about their talent and determination to succeed.


Some contestants have had professional training or lessons before the show whereas others may never have taken any classes. Asking questions about whether they have had any training or not can help you to establish if they have a raw talent which can be developed and how each contestant compares based on their natural abilities.


Many talent show contestants have hopes and dreams of becoming a star or celebrity as a result of the show so asking questions about their ambitions can help everyone to understand where they would like to be in the future. Some talent shows have substantial prizes on offer such as money so the reason for entry could be to invest the money on something such as education or a holiday.

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About the Author

Jules Halliday is a writer, coach and public speaker with more than 20 years experience of recruitment, training and management in a variety of sectors. Passionate about career and personal development, Halliday is director of TMS Coaching Ltd and founder of All UK Jobsites.