How to Prepare


1.  Treat it like a conversation:  

-The interviewer asks the majority of the questions, though the interview should be conversational. Each person can take turns asking and answering questions.


2. Elicit detail:

-Ask open-ended questions.

o   Close-ended:  Did you change because of the experience? (elicits a yes or no)

o   Open-ended:  How did you change because of the experience? (elicits a more detailed response)

-Construct questions that encourage vivid detail.

-Ask follow-up questions to get deeper into a story.  Does it look like your interview partner has more to say? Do they become more animated when talking about a specific topic, or do they seem uncomfortable?  Body language can cue you whether to dig deeper or to move on.


3. Use your notes lightly:

-Reference your list of questions, but don’t be afraid to go off-script and ask new ones.


4. Wrap it up with reflection:

-As the interview comes to an end, think of some reflective questions. These can be more serious or broad.  How would you like to be remembered?  Is there anything you’ve never told me but want to tell me now?  Or simply thank each other for participating in the interview. 


-Here’s a helpful planning sheet to help prepare for your interview: Planning Worksheet