Tips For Interviewing Someone You Know

Tips For Interviewing Someone. In normal conversations, we “interview” people we know all the time. But casually saying hello to a friend or relative can feel really different than sitting down with them with a goal in mind. You’ll want to capitalize on your familiarity with your interviewee to get the best stories and answers as possible, but also keep in mind that your conversation can’t be so filled with inside jokes and references that other people won’t understand what you’re talking about.

Setting Scene for Interview

To set the scene for a strong interview with someone you know, it’s a good idea to:

(a) Sit next to them instead of across from them – this position facilitates intimacy and can feel less formal than other types of interviews.

(b) Interview them in a place that’s meaningful to them – their room, home or favorite spot will make for a better scene than a loud, sterile place like a busy coffee shop.

(c) Go into the interview with set goals. It’s really easy to let conversations wander when talking to friends and family. Know the kinds of answers you’re looking for and redirect the conversation if it strays too far from the main point.

Even though you know the person you’re interviewing, you’re going to want to spend some time writing questions ahead of time. Here are some tips to get the best responses possible when talking to someone you already know well:

Get the whole story … Even if you think you already know it

Many times when we interview people we know, it’s because we’re trying to capture stories we’ve already heard from them before. But getting our friends and family members to retell the same story in an exciting and detailed way can take a little probing. Keep asking for more details in a step-by-step fashion. EXAMPLE: “So walk me through the day you first came to the United States….. And then what happened?… And then what happened?” EXAMPLE: “You once told me that you hated your first job. What exactly did you hate about it? What did you do? And then what did you do?”

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