Elements of an Interview


  • To develop list of interview tips
  • To practice interview skills


  • “Steps to a Good Interview” handout (1 per participant)
  • “Interview Scenarios” handout (1 per every 9 participants)
  • Scissors

Prepare Before

Cut the “Interviewer Scenarios” handout out so that there is only one item per each sliver.

Warm Up

If you have done the “Qualities of a Good Interview” lesson, review the content from that lesson. Write 3-5 sentences:  What did you learn from watching this interview?   What are some tips you can use in your own interview?


Today we are going to begin to practice interviews.  As a group pick a topic.   Now brainstorm five potential questions an interviewer might ask on this topic.  In this activity, different people will have a chance to be an interviewer.   You can use the questions to help you or choose your own question.  Give each interview a cut out behavior from the “Interviewer Scenarios” handout. The participant’s job is to demonstrate the behavior on your strip of paper as naturally as possible.

Choose volunteers to be the interviewee and the interviewer.  After each interviewer demonstrates their behavior, ask the process questions below.


After each interviewer:

  • What did the interviewer do?
  • What effect did this have on the interview?
  • How did the interviewee feel?
  • What guideline can we create to avoid this behavior?

After everyone has gone:

  • What negative behavior will be the hardest for you to avoid?
  • What positive behavior do you do most often?


Pass out the “Steps to a Good Interview” handout. Read together as a class. Add any tips that you developed from today’s lesson.


Divide class into trios.  Give the class an interview topic. Each trio should come up with five questions they could ask in an interview and write these down.  In each trio, decide who will be the interviewer, interviewee, and the observer.  The Interviewer will have 3 minutes to conduct an interview.  You do not have to complete your interview in 3 minutes.  Start from Step 2  (Introduce Yourself). The Interviewee will be an excellent person to interview — we are not practicing problem interviewees yet.   The Observer will watch the Interviewer to see how they do on the skills for Conduct Interview (active listening, keep conversation going, be neutral).  At the end of the interview, they will give feedback to the Interviewer.

Once all groups have their 5 questions, start and time the interview and feedback time. At the end of 3 minutes, The Observer has 1 minute to give helpful feedback to the Interviewer.  What’s something they did well?  What is something they can improve on?

All groups should rotate until each person has had a chance to be the Interviewer.


What was hardest for you in being an interviewer?   What comes easily to you? Were you able to ask follow-up questions?