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Student’s Name: _____________________________

Interview Subject’s Name: ___________________


Relationship to You: _______________________

Biographical Narrative Interview Questions

Student-created questions: Think about what you already know about this person. What
interests you about them? Open-ended questions will help you to learn more. As you
interview, remember that you as related questions. Write your questions below, and record
the subject’s answers on a separate page. It may help to provide these questions to your
relative in advance so they have time to consider their answers.

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Possible Interview Questions:
Highlight the TOP 10 Questions you really want to ask. Don’t try to ask all of them or your
relative will get tired and may not be as responsive. BE A GOOD LISTENER; DON’T JUST
CONCENTRATE ON GETTING THROUGH YOUR LIST!

When you were young…

1. Tell me about yourself.


2. How old are you?
3. Where were you born?
4. What were/are your parents like?
5. Where did you grow up? Can you describe your childhood?
6. Do you have any brothers/sisters?
7. Where did you go to school?
8. What are your top three memories from your childhood?
9. What is your most vivid memory from high school?
10. What was the most important thing that you learned in school?
11. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up, and why?
12. Did you ever break any bones when you were younger?
13. What sort of cars/vehicles have you ever driven? Any funny names for cars?
14. Was there anything that you had to overcome as a child or teen.
15. What sort of travels have you had? In the US? Around the world?
16. Were these travels for your job or for pleasure? Can you describe a few of them? 17.
Where is your favorite place to be? What is the most interesting place that you have ever been?
Where would you like to go back to? Where would you still like to visit?
Have you ever been in danger? What is the most interesting animal/piece of
artwork/landmark that you have ever seen?
18. Was there a person in your career who really made a difference to you? How so?
19. Who are your heroes?
20. What is your favorite memory from childhood?
21. Did you go to college? Where? Why? What major did you choose to study, and why?
22. If married, how did you meet your husband/wife?
23. Can you tell me about your career? What sort of jobs have you had? What sort of job do
you have now? What was the most difficult job that you have ever done?
24. What would be one positive thing that your last boss would say about you?
25. What would be your ideal working situation, if you could choose anything? Have you ever
won any sort of award?
26. What was the most difficult period in your life, and how did you deal with it?
27. What has been the happiest time in your life so far, and why? (This could be “happiest
day” or more generally “happiest time-period”)
28. Do you have children/grandchildren? Can you describe them? Do you have any interesting
stories from their youth that you would like to share?
29. Have you ever had any pets? If so, can you describe them?
Life Lessons
30. What accomplishment are you the most proud of in your life so far?
31. What is your personal mission statement, goal, or outlook on life?
Challenging Questions
32. Have you ever gotten in trouble for anything?
33. What has been your most embarrassing moment?
34. What has been your most terrifying moment?
35. What has been your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
Current Life
36. What kind of car do you drive? Where do you live now?
37. What three character traits would your friends use to describe you? List five words that
describe your character.
38. What is your greatest achievement outside of work?
39. What’s the most difficult decision you've made in the last two years?
40. What do you like to do for fun?
41. What was the last book that you read? What sort of television shows or movies do you
enjoy? Do you have a favorite book or movie?
42. What do you like to do?
43. What is your favorite type of music? Have you ever seen any live concerts? Can you play
any musical instruments? What other talents do you have?
44. What do you feel are your greatest strengths?
45. What do you feel are your greatest weaknesses?
46. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
47. If you were an animal, what would you be, and why?
48. If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be, and why?
49. What would you do if you won the lottery?

Feedback:
What advice can you offer kids of today?
How do you think I rate as an interviewer?
Is there anything else that you wish that I had asked about?

Citation: http://www. mendhamboro.org/interview_for_biographical_narrative.doc

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