Interview Guide

Tips for interviewers:

Tips for interviewees:

Sample Questions


  • Tell me about your parents. What was your life like growing up? For example, describe a typical day when you were 10 years old.
  • What was your childhood home like? Who else lived in the house with you? What did your bedroom look like?
  • Who lived in your home and what were they like?
  • How would you describe the area you grew up?
  • What is your earliest memory?

Growing Up

  • Tell me about a teacher or other adult that impacted your life while you were growing up.
  • If you could go back and relive your teenage years, would you? Why/why not?
  • Did you get into any trouble growing up? What was the worst thing you did?


  • What lessons did your time in the military teach you? Did it change you?
  • How do you feel the political climate affected your life?
  • Where were you and how did you feel when you heard that Chiang Kai-shek had passed away?
  • Where were you and how did you feel when you heard that martial law had ended?

Adulthood- Marriage, Immigration

  • How did you meet my mom/dad?
  • How and why did you immigrate?
  • How did you feel about leaving Taiwan?
  • How did you feel when you arrived in America?
  • What was the biggest difference between your life in Taiwan and your life in America?
  • What surprised you most about America?
  • What was your favorite and least favorite part about America?

Raising Children

  • What were unexpected challenges of raising children in America?
  • What were some of your favorite and least favorite parts about raising me?
  • Tell me about a time that I made you upset.
  • Tell me about a time that I made you proud.

Reflecting on Family

  • Of all the family members you have either known or heard stories about, who do you think lived the most interesting life? Why?
  • Who were your favorite relatives? Do you remember any stories they told you?
  • What is your most vivid memory of your parents?
  • What do you miss the most about your hometown?
  • What is your biggest regret?
  • Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
  • What do you see as our family’s legacy?

The Big Picture

  • In what ways did you want to ensure that my childhood would not be like your childhood? In what ways did you want to ensure that it would be similar?
  • How has your life been different than how you imagined it would be when you were young?
  • What was one of the most important lessons you’ve learned in life? How did you learn them? Describe an experience that led you to this realization
  • How do you identify ethnically? i.e. Taiwanese, Taiwanese American
  • When you think of being Taiwanese American, what comes to mind?