Have the conversation of a lifetime

10 Conversation Tips for Your Evergreen Story Interview

Here are some of our suggestions for getting a good conversation going. We encourage you to use the ones you like and to come up with your own. This list is in no particular order.

Choose one of the categories below to read them.


Great Questions for all

  • 1.Can you tell me about the important people in your life?
  • 2.What have been some of the happiest moments in your life? The saddest?
  • 3.Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person or those people teach you?
  • 4. Can you tell me about a moment when a person’s kindness made a difference in your life?
  • 5.What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
  • 6. What is your earliest memory?
  • 7.What is your favorite memory of me?
  • 8. Are there any funny stories your family tells about you that come to mind?
  • 9.Are there any funny stories or memories or characters from your life that you want to tell me about?
  • 10.What are you proudest of?
  • 11.When in life have you felt most alone?
  • 12.If you could hold on to memories from your life forever, which would they be?
  • 13. How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
  • 14. How would you like to be remembered?
  • 15. Do you have any regrets?
  • 16. What does your future hold?
  • 17.What are your hopes for what the future holds for me?
  • 18. What are your hopes for my children?
  • 19.If this was to be our very last conversation, is there anything you’d want to say to me?
  • 20.For generations listening to this years from now, is there any wisdom you’d want to pass on to them? What would you want them to know?
  • 21.Is there anything that you’ve never told me but want to tell me now?
  • 22.Are there things about me that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?
  • 23.If you could talk to a younger version of yourself, what would you say?
  • 24. What were your first impressions of me? How did they change?

GROWING UP

  • 1.When and where were you born?
  • 2.Where did you grow up?
  • 3.What was it like?
  • 4.Who were your parents?
  • 5.What were your parents like?
  • 6.How was your relationship with your parents?
  • 7.Did you get into trouble? What was the worst thing you did?
  • 8.Do you have any siblings? What were they like growing up?
  • 9.What did you look like?
  • 10.How would you describe yourself as a child? Were you happy?
  • 11.What is one of your best memories of childhood? Worst?
  • 12.Did you have a nickname? How’d you get it?
  • 13.Who were your best friends? What were they like?
  • 14.How would you describe a perfect day when you were young?
  • 15.What did you think your life would be like when you were older?
  • 16.Do you have any favorite stories from your childhood?
  • 17.When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

FRIENDSHIP

  • 1.If you could interview anyone from your life living or dead, but not a celebrity, who would it be and why?
  • 2. What is your first memory of me?
  • 3. Was there a time when you didn’t like me?
  • 4. What makes us such good friends?
  • 5.How would you describe me? How would you describe yourself?
  • 6. Where will we be in 10 years? 20 years?
  • 7. Do you think we’ll ever lose touch with each other?

GRANDPARENTS

  • 1.Where did you grow up?
  • 2.What was your childhood like?
  • 3.Who were your favorite relatives?
  • 4.Do you remember any of the stories your grandparents used to tell you?
  • 5.How did you and grandma/grandpa meet?
  • 6.What was my mom/dad/parent like growing up?
  • 7.Do you remember any songs that you used to sing to your children? Can you sing them now?
  • 8.Were your grandparents well-behaved?
  • 9.What is the worst thing your grandparents ever did?
  • 10.What were your parents like?
  • 11.What were your grandparents like?
  • 12.How would you like to be remembered?
  • 13.Are you proud of me?

PARENTS

  • 1.Do you remember what was going through your head when you first saw me?
  • 2.How did you choose my name?
  • 3.What was I like as a baby? As a young child?
  • 4.Do you remember any of the songs you used to sing to me? Can you sing them now?
  • 5.What were my siblings like?
  • 6.What were the hardest moments you had when I was growing up?
  • 7. If you could do everything again, would you raise me differently?
  • 8.What advice would you give me about raising my own kids?
  • 9.What are your dreams for me?
  • 10. How did you meet mom/dad?
  • 11. How do you think we are alike? How do you think we are different?
  • 12. Are you proud of me?

DIASPORA

  • 1.Where are your parents’ families from?
  • 2.Have you ever been there? What was that experience like?
  • 3.What traditions have been passed down in your family?
  • 4.Who were your favorite relatives?
  • 5.Do you remember any of the stories they used to tell you?
  • 6.What are the classic family stories? Jokes? Songs?

SCHOOL

  • 1.Did you enjoy school?
  • 2.What kind of student were you?
  • 3.What would you do for fun?
  • 4. How would your classmates remember you?
  • 5.Are you still friends with anyone from that time in your life?
  • 6.What are your best memories of grade school/high school/college/graduate school? Worst memories?
  • 7.Was there a teacher or teachers who had a particularly strong influence on your life? Tell me about them.
  • 8. Do you have any favorite stories from school?

ROMANCE & RELATIONSHIPS

  • 1.Do you have a love of your life?
  • 2. When did you first fall in love?
  • 3. Can you tell me about your first kiss?
  • 4.What was your first serious relationship?
  • 5.Do you believe in love at first sight?
  • 6.Do you ever think about previous lovers?
  • 7.What lessons have you learned from your relationships?
  • 8.Who were the “ones that got away” in your life?
  • 9.What was the hardest break up you’ve ever experienced?
  • 10.Do you remember the best date you ever went on?/Do you remember your first date?
  • 11. How did you meet your spouse/partner?
  • 12.How did you know they were “the one”?
  • 13.How did you propose?
  • 14.What were the best times? The most difficult times?
  • 15.Did you ever think of getting divorced?
  • 16.Did you ever get divorced? Can you tell me about it?
  • 17.What advice do you have for young couples?
  • 18.Do you have any favorite stories from your marriage or about your spouse/partner?

WORKING

  • 1.Describe the work that you do.
  • 2.Tell me about how you got into your line of work.
  • 3.Do you like your job?
  • 4. What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
  • 5.What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • 6.What lessons has your work life taught you?
  • 7.If you could do anything now, what would you do? Why?
  • 8. Do you plan on retiring? If so, when? How do you feel about it?
  • 9.Do you have any favorite stories from your work life?

REMEMBERING A LOVED ONE

  • 1. What was your relationship to _____?
  • 2.Tell me about _____.
  • 3.What is your first memory of _____?
  • 4.What is your best memory of _____?
  • 5.What is your most vivid memory of _____?
  • 6.What did _____ mean to you?
  • 7.Are you comfortable/ can you talk about _____’s death? How did _____ die?
  • 8.What has been the hardest thing about losing _____?
  • 9.What would you ask _____ if _____ were here today?
  • 10.What do you miss most about _____?
  • 11.How do you think _____ would want to be remembered?
  • 12.Can you talk about the biggest obstacles _____ overcame in life?
  • 13.Was there anything you and _____ disagreed about, fought over, or experienced some conflict around?
  • 14.What about _____ makes you smile?
  • 15.What was your relationship like?
  • 16.What did _____ look like?
  • 17.Did you have any favorite jokes _____ used to tell?
  • 18.Do you have any stories you want to share about _____?
  • 19.What were _____’s hopes and dreams for the future?
  • 20.Is there something about _____ that you think no one else knows?
  • 21.What is the image of _____ that persists?
  • 22.Do you have any traditions to honor _____?
  • 23.What has helped you the most in your grief?
  • 24.What are the hardest times?