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This is the "Interview Questions" page of the "Having Our Say Unit" guide.
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Having Our Say Unit   Tags: having our say, history, mitchell, research  

What makes history? What is a primary source? Who determines historical accuracy?
Last Updated: Aug 12, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Interview Questions Print Page

Interview Verification Form

Click on the picture above to be taken to a website that has 50 questions to ask family.


Interview Questions

Use the following 7 questions as your basis for the interview.  After reading the "50 questions for family interviews, decide which of them you want to incorporate as well.

1.  Where were you born?  How did the locality play a part in who you are today?

2.  Describe the family in which you grew up.  The family you have, now. How are they similar/different?

3.  What was your favorite teacher like?  Why do you remember that teacher, today?

4.  Give a brief outline of your educational career.  Are there any regrets?  Any triumphs?

5.  Work history.  How many jobs/careers have you had? Favorite?  Why?

6.  What are your hobbies, interests, passions.

7.  Words of advice to the younger generation.


Interview Tips

Interview Tips, Do's and Don'ts

It's important that you know exactly why you are conducting an interview and which goal(s) you are aiming for. Stay focused on questions and techniques which will achieve them.

Do your homework. You will be expected to have a basic knowledge of your subject. If you are interviewing someone you don't know, try to find out as much as you can about their history beforehand.  If they are a relative, be prepared to learn more about them than you ever dreamed you might.

Have a list of questions. It seems obvious but some people don't think of it. While you should be prepared to improvise and adapt, it makes sense to have a firm list of questions which need to be asked.  Of course many interviewees will ask for a list of questions before hand, or you might decide to provide one to help them prepare. Whether or not this is a good idea depends on the situation.  On the other hand, if you are looking for spontaneous answers then it's best to wait until the interview.

Ask the subject.  Are any particular questions they would like you to ask?

Listen. A common mistake is to be thinking about the next question while the subject is answering the previous one, to the point that the interviewer misses some important information. If one does not listen, one can miss a moment that may define the interview and the information received.


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