Sample interview questions

Getting interesting, accurate information from the featured child or sibling group is the most important part of creating a compelling waiting child narrative.
To get the best information, the interviewer should be someone the child is comfortable with. That may be the child’s foster parent, worker, recruiter, a mentor, or another important adult in their life.  

Conducting the interview

Don’t rush it! You may have to take time to let the child warm up to you or to the topic. While we are suggesting a list of questions, the best information will come from a conversation that incorporates questions like these and will include follow-up questions that are not on this list. It’s important to know the child’s history (such as sibling separation) and to avoid anything that might be challenging or upsetting.

Depending on the child’s age, you might just start by asking them what they’d most like others to know about them—about what they like to do, what matters to them, and how they see their future. An open-ended, stream-of-consciousness conversation can lead to great results.

When you’re finished, if you have time, run through the answers with the child. This gives you a chance to get additional details or correct anything you misunderstood. Don’t forget that whenever possible and developmentally appropriate, you should have the child review the narrative and make necessary corrections or additions. Also don’t forget that children change over time. You may need to repeat the interview and update the narrative over time.

Sample questions

What’s your favorite thing to do outdoors?

What do you like to do in your free time?

What activities do you participate in (choirs, plays, clubs)? What activities would like to try in the future?

Do you have a favorite author or book? What types of books do you like best?

What type of movies do you like? Is there a TV show you watch regularly?

What games (board, card, video, etc.) do you like to play?

Do you like to draw or do other arts and crafts? What are your favorite types and subjects?

What sports do you enjoy playing? Are there others you like to watch? Do you have a favorite team?

Do you sing, dance, or play an instrument?  

Who are your favorite musicians or groups to listen to? Do you have a favorite song?

What is your favorite food? What was the best meal you ever had?

Do you cook or bake? What are your specialties?

What would you like people to know about you?

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

What makes you laugh? Who makes you laugh the most?

If you could visit any place on earth, where would you go? Why?

What do you do during vacations from school? What things would you like to do if you had the chance?

What school trips or vacations have you gone on and especially enjoyed? What places do you dream of visiting?

If the child has siblings: What do you like most about your brothers/sisters? What do you like to do when you’re together?

What are you really good at? What would you like to become really good at?

What are you most proud of? What is one thing you work very hard to do? (For example, learning to do a cartwheel or helping your sister with her homework.)
What do you like learning about (in school or out of school)?

What is your favorite class at school? Why?

Are you involved in clubs, community groups, religious, or other organizations? What do you like about them?

Are there ways you like to help others?

What holidays do you celebrate? What do you do for them? What’s your favorite?
What would you like to do or be when you grow up? Do you know anyone who has this job already?

Do you plan to go to college? What would you like to study?

Who are your friends and why do you like them?

What do you do when you are with your friends?

Who are the important people in your life that you want to stay connected to?

Who helps you when you have a problem? Is there someone you wish could be there to help you?

What do you like best about yourself?

What is your favorite thing about where you are living right now?

What are some things you think you might to do with an adoptive family? (For example, would they help with homework? What would you do together for fun?)

What is your dream day like?