How to conduct an interview like a middle school teacher.

Happy Friday, Veterans’ Day, and 11/11/11, friends.

I’m writing a website bio and story for a “client” who is very dear to my heart. She happens to also be my sister, so I ended up taking a few liberties with her interview, and the end result looks quite unlike most interviews I’ve written.

Do you ever conduct interviews? Have you noticed that they’re missing a certain juvenile spice? If so (and even if not), here’s my quick tutorial:

How to conduct an interview like a middle school teacher
(and still get professional results)
*Click to enlarge images.

1. First, make an entire fill in the blank section. This is the warm-up.


2. Add a list section (still warming up).


3. Get serious, now.  Include diagrams, and throw in some new vocab words while you’re at it.  Make interviewee analyze the diagram and apply new vocab words to her own life.


4. Any self-respecting middle school test has a writing section. Include criteria and instructions before introducing your open-ended essay question. Bonus points for using phrases like “to inform your answer.” Use annoying fun colors for emphasis.


For best results, include a bunch of these.

Anyone else ready to go sharpen a bouquet of pencils?…

The sun is hiding today, and might hide indefinitely. I put eggnog in my coffee today, and listened to some Christmas music for the first time this season.

It’s feeling cozy in here.  Enjoy your weekends, y’all.


  • Joe Bunting

    This is so cool. I love the idea of the story diagram. Do you do an interview like this for all your bios.

    • brynna

      Hi Joe! Truthfully, this is the first bio I’ve been paid to write. But I’m definitely not against using this method in the future!