After general introductions, I think the best question to start off the interview with the chosen professional would be:
- Can you talk a little bit about your professional background and the experiences that have led you to the position that you are in today?
This is a very general question, but I believe that it is important to start off the interview with a question like this because it helps both the interviewer and the audience to better understand the interviewee. I also think this is a great question because people generally love to talk about themselves and their experiences, so this will allow the interviewee to feel more comfortable.
Another question that I would love to ask in this interview is:
2. Growing up, we all have someone that we look up to as a role model and that shapes who we are as a person. Has there been any specific person that you have looked to as a mentor throughout the development of your career?
I think this is an important and interesting question because as students who will soon be entering the professional world, we will be looking for mentors to guide us as we begin our careers. I will be interesting to learn how someone who is regarded as a mentor to many young professionals was also positively impacted by someone else at the beginning of their successful career.
Ideally, we will all be interviewing someone in a position or field that we would like to work in in the future. Therefore a great question to ask is:
3. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start a career in the field of ___?
Of course, I would tailor this question to the person that I was interviewing. I think this is a beneficial question because you can get candid advice from someone who has been successful in the field you are looking to work in. This advice can help both the interviewer and the audience in their future career endeavors. It also gives the interviewee a chance to share their experiences, successes, and failures in order to benefit others.
As I said previously, it is important to give the interviewee a chance to talk about themselves and their experiences because this is what most people are comfortable doing. Therefore, I would ask:
4. Can you describe what a typical day looks like for you?
This allows the interviewee to talk about themselves and their work, which they are presumably extremely passionate about. This is also a great question because it gives us a behind the scenes look at what it is like to work in this field. We may learn things that we would never be able to find on the internet when looking up job descriptions or the specific career field.
Lastly, I think it is important to ask questions that keep the mood light and that keep the interviewee/audience interested. So, I would ask:
5. What is the craziest or funniest thing that has ever happened to you on the job?
My hope with a question like this is to connect personally with the interviewee and to keep the interview from being too dry.