Profile interview questions often focus on a subject?s background, formative experiences, education and work. Questions in these areas are typically applicable to most interview subjects and can also lead to more in-depth questions.
Discussing a subject?s personal history is often an effective strategy for gaining better insight into her character. Questions about a subject?s childhood, early interests, family life and hometown can all serve to open up avenues for deeper questions. Learning the major factors that influenced a subject?s life allows an interviewer to better understand her current perspectives. Similarly, questions about education can also lead a subject to recount influential experiences.
Many profiles focus mostly on a subject?s work, since this is often why the individual is notable enough to warrant an interview. Questions about a subject?s introduction to her profession, its challenges, its benefits and her own professional aspirations are all effective lines of questioning. Other questions may focus on the specifics of the subject?s work and what her day-to-day experience is like.
Interviewers should enter into the conversation with a defined set of questions, but they should also know when it?s worthwhile to deviate from the script. Improvised questions allow an interviewer to pursue a topic that is interesting even if it strays from outlined questions.