Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Please help!!! Creative interview questions needed.

Tomorrow I am getting together with my family for a Thanksgiving meal, and I am planning to interview my family members for a kind of video time capsule. The interview will be taped and then stored away for viewing on a later date.

My plan is to write down questions on a bunch of different scraps of paper, put them in a "hat", and draw 5 or six for each person interviewed.

The trouble is I am having difficulty coming up with creative questions to ask (mainly because I procrastinated on coming up with the questions until tonight). I could really use your help in making up questions.

What are things that would be meaningful for you to ask your family members? If you could ask a deceased family member or friend a question, what would it be? In regards to family history, what would you ask your older relatives? Think outside the box. Off-the-wall questions are welcome. Please submit your question by posting a comment below.

Thanks for your help.


Anonymous said...

Good luck with this. It sounds like a really interesting project. I don't know if the question is any use, but it goes back to a conversation I had with my dad while visiting him in hospital a couple of weeks back (he's fine now.) His name is John, like me, but as long as I can remember he's always been known as Jim, even to his parents. Even old books of his from his teenage years have his name inside as 'Jim'. So I finally got around to asking has anyone ever called him John?
Lots of families seem to have someone like this - one given name but known to all as something completely different - funnily enough my grandmother was Julia, known as Joan and her brother was Michael, known as Frank. Maybe you could ask about names they've been known as through the years? How they came about, why the change, etc. I hope this is, if not a viable suggestion, then at least some kind of spark. From one dorky designer to another!

Jason said...

Thanks for your suggestion, John. That's a great one! In fact, it leads to other questions about names such as name origins, and the meanings of unusual names, even names on up the family tree. Thanks again!


Anonymous said...

I would ask about the most self-defining moment of their life. And other random if you could meet one person in world alive or dead, who would it be and why. Those are always good for gaining insight to their inner workings and values. And I personally love learning more stuff like that about the ones I love.

Or if you could visit only one place other than your home...where and why. Or if you could ask God one question, what would you ask.

I dunno..those are just a few of the top of my head. But they normally lead to great convos and are good for setting an intimate and open mood in the interview.

Hope it was some help.

Jason said...

Thanks the sarah. I appreciate your suggestions. Those questions would surely bring provide some insight into my family members. I hope you are doing well.

Anonymous said...

"What were your initial feelings when you heard Martha was pregant with Stumpy" Follow-up: "Looking back, do you still have the same feelings? Do you believe it would have been better if Stumpy was to have been given for adoption to a native Mongolian tribe?"

Yeah. I'm bored.

Anonymous said...

I was looking for ideas for an interview to do with my ELT class and came across your blog site. Last time our family got together, my sister and I read out questions from the Family Trivial Pursuit we put together. We are all grown up - I'm the fifth of seven children and I'm 57 - just to give you an idea. What started out as a list of 15 questions ended up to be a three-page project filled with all sorts of inquiries such as: What was Grandma P's telephone number; What color were Dad's flip-flops; My father was in the military for 20 years and we were constantly on the move so there were questions like: Who of us was born on an island (I WAS! - Staten Is.); Who was left at the gas station when we all piled back into the station wagon on the way to...
It was fun! By the way, I hadn't seen two of my brothers for 30 years and one of my sisters for 15! We had never all sat down and looked back over the years like that...and it was amazing how many questions we all got right!
Happy Thanksgiving!
I live in Spain and won't be getting home for that holiday. Haven't been home for it for about 34 years!