Interviews Using iPhone

I remember the “olden days” when conducting an interview required a small recorder. It was better than hand-written notes because there was no better option.

Now there is the smart phone. When my husband talked me into getting one, I was hesitant because I thought all I needed was a simple cell phone. Now my old cell phone is out-dated. I got spoiled by texting, and email ready at hand. Then I got spoiled by the GPS when we got lost on some country road. I use those features all the time.

I especially became addicted to the voice recorder for doing interviews. I still do written notes on my sheet of questions. It helps me stay organized. When I do the transcription back in my office, the written questions and notes keep me on track.  I do not ask the same questions and my notes help me keep up with those I did ask.  I have a copy of the questions as a document on my desktop which I use. I fill in the blanks using the recording and my notes. I highlight the asked questions for later ease of use.

The recording provides the emotion as answers are given. I also learn something each time, by the way I ask my questions. I do an evaluation to make improvements for the next interview.

I am working on a biography which is requiring multiple interviews. My subject is a very interesting person, well-known, but now deceased. When I listen to the recordings, I re-live the conversation with total pleasure. They would make an interesting audio book, if I chose that option.

When I get closer to the final draft, I will reveal my subject.

It would be interesting to know how other authors conduct interviews and also at what point the subject is revealed.


Interview Questions for Relative Biography Interview Questions to present to family member or friend of the subject of the biography.

NOTE: of course the relationship of the person being interviewed to the subject will need to be considered in choosing the questions.

When and where was _______________ born?

Are there any interesting stories surrounding the birth?

What is your earliest memory of this person?

In what way has this person influenced your life?

Did this person have a nickname? How did it happen to be given?

What was this person’s favorite game as a young child? Teen? Adult?

Did this person have a hobby? Sport?

Did this person like school?  A favorite or less favorite class?

How would you describe this person socially or academically?

Was this person involved it politics? How?

What would be the most surprising thing about this person most people would not know?

How would you introduce this person to your neighbor?

How would you describe this person to someone who needed to find him in a crowd?

Was this person afraid of anything?

Was this person ever in an accident?

What did this person do during free time?

What was this person’s career? More than one?

What was the funniest thing that ever happened involving this person?

The happiest thing?

Most embarrassing moment?

Frightening moment?

Talents and skills?

If this person is deceased, what would be important to share? Time? Place?     Circumstances?

How do you think this person would want to be remembered?

What special things did you do together?    Think of your own family or friend related questions. or friend of a biography subject.


I’m writing the biography of a deceased gentleman. It will require interviews of multiple family members, friends and co-workers.

I searched online for suggested questions, to simplify the process. I only found questions appropriate for the subject of the biography. Therefore, I adapted the questions available to fit my needs.

Perhaps this article will be useful to another biographer. Thank you for visiting my site. I welcome any question suggestions.