The Interview Questions

I have provided with a list of questions (see attached document) to use in your interview.  These questions are designed to ensure that your interview results in enough information about your subject to complete the assignment.  These interview questions should serve as a guide.  You do not need to ask every question, and you can add your own questions (as long as they are appropriate to ask your teen).  But you should plan to ask almost all of these questions.

Introductory Questions

  • How old are you?
  • What grade are you in?  What grades does your school serve?  For example, 6th-8th, 9th through 12th, etc..
  • Tell me about your family.  For example, who do you live with?  Do you have brothers or sisters? 
  • Do your parents (or whoever the guardian/s is/are) work?  What do they (he/she) do?
  • How far did your parents (guardian/s) go in school?  For example, did they graduate high school?  College?
  • How would you describe your race or ethnicity?

Typical Day

  • I’d like to know what goes on in a typical weekday for you. Walk me through a typical weekday, from the time you got up until the time you go to bed.
  • What about weekends?  What does your typical Saturday look like?
  • How much sleep per night do you typically get on weekdays (Sunday night through Friday morning)?  Do you feel like you get enough sleep on weekdays?
  • How much sleep per night do you typically get on weekends (Friday night through Sunday morning)?  Do you feel like you get enough sleep on weekends?
  • Describe what you eat on a typical day.
  • Is exercising a part of your daily routine?
  • What is your mood like on a typical day?  Are there certain things or situations that make you feel instantly great or instantly bad? 

Identity

  • If you were to describe yourself with 4 descriptors, what would they be?  Why did you choose those words?
  • What’s your favorite thing about yourself? What? Why?
  • Are there things you’d like to change about yourself? What? Why?
  • If someone who knew you really well described you to me, how would they describe you?
  • What does being a [adolescent’s gender] mean to you?
  • What does being [adolescent’s ethnic background] mean to you?
  • Have you ever been discriminated against because of your race/ethnicity? Tell me about that.
  • Do you think you have ever received special treatment because of your race/ethnicity? Tell me about that.
  • Some people say that your teen years are a good time to figure out who you are.  Do you think that’s true?
  • Do you think you’ve figured out who you are, or are you still exploring that?
  • Do you have a sense of how you’d like to be when you’re an adult?  What is that person like?

Autonomy

  • How has your relationship with your parent(s) changed now that you’re a teenager?  Have you noticed changes in what you’re allowed to do? Explain.
  • What kinds of decisions do they let you make for yourself now that you couldn’t make on your own when you were younger?
  • Are their things that your parent(s) are still in charge of that you think you could do on your own?
  • When you think about values, or beliefs that are really important to you, do you think that you and your parents have the same values?  What values do you think you share?  What values might you and your parents disagree about?
  • What types of things do you and your parent(s) fight about?
  • Tell me about peer pressure at school.  Do you think there is pressure to act or think like other kids?
  • How do you handle this peer pressure?
  • Do you follow politics at all?  Do you talk about politics with your family? Your friends?  Do your views tend to be similar or different than those held by your family and/or friends?

Intimacy (peers and romantic relationships)

  • Tell me a little bit about your friends.  What are they like?
  • How much time do you spend with friends? What do you and your friends usually do together?
  • What do your parents think of your friends? How well do your parents know your friends? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
  • Tell me about your closest friend, what makes you feel close to them?  Why do you think you have a close relationship with them?
  • Are you going out with someone (romantic relationship) right now, or have you done that in the past?
    • If yes, how is that going? How important is it to you to have a boyfriend/ girlfriend/significant other? Why?  What do your parents/guardians think about you dating at this age? 
  • Are any of your friends or classmates in serious relationships yet?  What do you think about that?  Is it okay for relationships to get serious at your age?  Why or why not?
  • Do you have any siblings?  What is your relationship like with them?  Do you feel close to them, or not very close?  Why do you think you feel this way?
  • Have you ever seen bullying going on at school?  What about online bullying?  If yes to either question, what did that look like?  What was done about it?

Adjustment

  • How do you know when you’ve become an adult?  How does your family define being an adult?
  • What do you think you’d like to do after high school? (Go to college or the military?  Get a job?  Something else?)
  • Do you know what type of job you’d like when you’re older?  What do you have to do to get there?
  • Do you have a part-time job?
    • If yes, what do you do?  How long have you been working?  How many hours a week do you work?  What did you have to give up in order to find time for a job?  For you, what are the major benefits of working?  What do you do with the money you earn?
    • If no, would you like to work?  Why or why not?  How do you get money for things you need or want?
  • Are you involved in any sports or extracurricular activities at school? Tell me about them.
  • Are you involved in any activities or organizations in the community?  For example, volunteer work, church/religious worship?  Tell me about them. 
  • What are your hobbies and interests? Do you find time to pursue them?
  • Do you see your friends outside of school and other organized activities?  If yes, what kinds of things do you do together to have fun?
  • Is social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) something you participate in?  If so, how often/how much time is spent using it?
  • Lots of people say that the teens are moody.  Do you think that’s true?  Why or why not?

Closing Questions

  • Tell me some of the things that are going really well in your life right now.
  • 10 years from now, what would you like to be doing? What do you think your life will be like?
  • Are you looking forward to being an adult? Why or why not?
  • If you had to give advice to someone who was just beginning [middle/high] school about how to handle this stage of life, what would your advice be?

What to submit:

You will need to submit a copy of the notes from your interview by 4/2.  If you did not take any notes during your interview, you should listen to the recording and take some notes from that.  You will submit your notes through WebCampus. This can be a Word document, or a scan/picture of your handwritten notes.

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