Hear Me Now Interview Tips
Planning for the Hear Me Now Interview
As you plan to sit down with someone to participate in Hear Me Now, consider the following questions to help you prepare. If you’re the storyteller, think about topics you’d like to explore. If you’re the interviewer, consider what you’re interested in learning from the storyteller.
- What are the 3-5 main topics you would like to explore in your conversation?
- Is there anything you do not want to discuss?
Great Follow-up Questions
- How did that make you feel?
- What happened next?
- Can you remember a specific time…?
- Can you give me an example?
- Can you paint a picture in words?
- What were you thinking when that happened?
- Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Choose a partner. The best conversations are between two people who know each other well. If you know someone with a great story to tell, invite that person to participate with you. If you have a great story yourself, consider participating with someone who was a part of that story or someone with whom you feel at ease.
Think about interview roles. Many StoryCorps interviews are structured so that one person is the storyteller and the other is the interviewer. In that case, the interviewer will ask most of the questions. However, questions can also be asked back-and-forth, like a conversation.
Meet your partner before your interview. If you’re the interviewer, ask the storyteller what they are hoping to talk about and any areas of interest and focus.
Pick a few questions to focus on. A brief question list is on this page. The StoryCorps website has a longer list at storycorps.org/great-questions. You may also write your own. Start with 4-5 questions.
Helpful Questions List
- Can you tell me about your illness?
- How has your illness changed you?
- At this time in your life, what nourishes your heart or spirit?
- How do you look at your life differently now, after experiencing your illness?
- Describe how you felt when you first learned of your loved one’s condition.
- How has [name’s] condition impacted your life?
- What have you learned about [name] from this experience?
- What is the most stressful part of caregiving? The most rewarding?
- Describe what [name] looked like.
- What about [name] made you smile?
- What are the things you miss most about [name]?
- Can you tell me a favorite joke or anecdote that [name] liked to tell?
- What has been your proudest moment?
- Who has been the most important person in your life?
- How would you like to be remembered?
- What wisdom would you share today to pass to future generations of your family?
For Providence Caregivers
- Tell me about your favorite patient.
- Was there ever a time you wanted to quit? Why?
- Who has been a mentor to you here?
- What is an unexpected challenge you’ve faced with a patient?
- What is one thing you’ve learned from providing care?
Ask open-ended questions. Avoid yes or no questions. “How did you feel when…” is a good way to start.
Think of it as a conversation. Speak normally and address the person you are interviewing.
Be patient. It can take a while for your partner to come up with an answer. Don’t follow-up too quickly.
Share stories and memories. Even if you don’t know each other well, be prepared for an emotional experience. The interview can evoke all kinds of feelings.
Expand beyond a timeline. Use vivid details and try to paint pictures with words.