Sample Interview Questions
The interview questions listed below were created as a guide of examples of questions for Indo-Caribbean womxn and gender-expansive folks interested in conducting oral history interviews in their communities. When doing an interview, select the questions you would most like to explore beforehand, and remember to go with the flow of the interview and ask follow up questions. You are free to change any of the questions or add your own.
Each interview will start off by the speaker and listener introducing each other by name, stating the date and location of the interview for the recording. This is for our own internal records.
- Can you tell me a bit about yourself? (gender, pronouns, age, where you grew up, where you live, how you racially/ethnically identify, etc)
- Tell me about you as a person: interests, passions, hobbies, talents, dreams, goals. What makes you you?
- Think of your life as a movie: what would be some of the major scenes that would be included? Who would be the important characters?
Family & Background
- Describe your childhood/life growing up. What is your family like? What influence has your culture/background played in your life?
- What are some of the funny or joyful things you remember about your childhood?
- (If applicable) How has being an immigrant or the child of an immigrant affected your life and upbringing?
- What do you know about your family’s history?
- What do you know about your ancestors? Who were they? What did they do?
- What do you know about your parents/grandparents -- their childhood, their background, where they grew up, when/how they left the Caribbean, etc?
- Describe some messages that you learned/were taught to you as a young person that no longer serve you. How did you come to resist those messages?
- Are there ways you've seen or experienced discrimination against women, girls, and gender-expansive folks in your family, or in your community? Do you believe that change is possible—and if so, when did you realize that it was?
- Are there any stereotypes or misrepresentations of women and gender-expansive folks in your community that you think are important to challenge given your own experiences, or the experiences of women and gender-expansive folks in your life?
- What issues do you wish would be addressed by the community and/or talked about more openly?
- What are hopes you have for your generation? Future generations?
- What do you think stands in the way of women and gender-expansive folks across generations building relationships with one another? What has helped you build relationships across generations?
- What is your favorite thing about being Indo-Caribbean? What do you hope to pass down to the next generation?
- Is there a story from your life that you wish you could tell other Indo-Caribbean women and gender-expansive folks -- those who have come before you, those in your life now, and/or future generations?
- Provide as many details as possible: Why is this story important? Where does it take place? How do you feel physically when you think of this story?
- If you are mixed-race, what has your experience been like navigating Indo-Caribbean spaces?
- How have you come into your own sexuality and navigated that in Indo-Caribbean spaces?
- When you think about being your full self, are there parts of your identity that you struggle with in Indo-Caribbean spaces?
Questions for digging deeper:
- Can you tell me more about that?
- What happened after that?
- Describe what that looked/felt/sounded like
- How did that make you feel?
- What did you learn from that?