The Interview

Would you like to learn more about the interview? You have come to the right place.

Note: Interviews will no longer be conducted as we are now in the process of preparing the stories for print.

On this page you can learn about the interview description and procedure and the guided reflection questions you may be asked at the interview.

The Interview Description and Procedure

I have designed a few guided reflection questions to lay a basic foundation for the interview. The questions provide a template to work from, but you are not required to answer each question. You can take the conversation in a direction suited to your individual needs; tell your story about your hospice volunteer experience in your own way.

Because some volunteers may or may not have access to a vehicle or prefer not to meet for an interview at the office, a meeting will be arranged at a location that works for both people, such as the interviewee’s home, a coffee shop, or an outdoor venue.

Office interviews will take place Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during office hours.

Out-of-office interviews will take place Monday to Friday, during office hours.

The interview will be digitally recorded. If you would like to discuss something private during the interview, you are welcome to ask that the recorder is turned off at that time.

The information recorded from the interview will be edited into a rough draft by myself (Allison) and The Hospice Stories Advisory Committee, a group of local writers assisting with the project. After the first draft is complete, you will be sent a hard copy of your story. At this time, you will be able to make necessary changes to ensure that your story is told accurately. All participants will be able to review their story and make any necessary changes before their story is published.

After you have had a chance to review your story, I will then contact any third parties quoted in your story (clients, family members, etc.), notify them of the project and send them a copy of the story in which their personal information is cited. No personal information pertaining to third parties will be published, unless informed consent is given.

*Please see the “Privacy Concerns” page for more information.

All participants will be required to sign a release form, consenting and agreeing that Hospice Northwest has the right to publish their personal information contained in the final draft of the story.

As a participant, you are invited to bring in a picture, a favorite quote, a poem or other personal artwork that relates to your personal experience as a hospice volunteer and your story of hospice.

Guided Reflection Questions

Here you will find some of the guided reflection questions that we will discuss at our meeting. You don’t need to bring anything to the interview, just yourself and an open mind and heart.

I hope that these questions may serve to stimulate more thought and self-reflection and shed light on each person’s authentic, original experience. The ultimate goal of each story is to have a piece of writing for each person that truly represents their voice.

*Note: As a volunteer, you have the creative freedom to tell your story in your own unique way. Share what you feel comfortable with sharing. If you don’t want to answer a question, you don’t need to. If you want to share something personal that you don’t want recorded, simply ask, and I will turn off the recorder. There are no wrong answers. The only limit to your answers is your own imagination. 
Interview questions may include (but are not limited to):

  • Why did you decide to become a volunteer at Hospice Northwest? (What drew you to this particular path)?  (Personality traits, life changing event, personal experience with grief and dying, past or current personal experience with a life-threatening illness, retiree seeking community work, etc.)
  • How long have you been a volunteer at HNW?
  • What teachings/life lessons have you learned as a result of working at HNW?
  • Have you had any memorable experiences as a volunteer at HNW?
  • Has being a caregiver for the dying made you reflect on your perceptions of living and dying or how you perceive your own death?
  • Before you became a HNW volunteer had you personally experienced death and bereavement?  If so, how did you feel?
  • There is a quote by Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher that says, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” There is a benefit to looking in the rearview mirror while you are driving. You see where you have been and what is approaching from behind – all while you’re driving forward. Perhaps one of the best ways to know where we are headed is to make sense of the past, of that which lies behind us.  In the process by which we make sense of our past, we can understand who we are, and find meaning in who we have been. Have you ever thought about your own life review?
  • How do you cope with grief at HNW?
  • What has been your biggest challenge?
  • How comfortable are you with your volunteer role, considering its limitations?
  • Have your perceptions of caregiving changed over time?
  • What motivates you to keep going? Why do you continue?
  • Take home message: Out of everything we have discussed in this interview, what is most significant and meaningful to you? What is the main take-home message you would like to share with the reader?  (The defining element of your authentic experience)

3 Responses to The Interview

  1. Hospice Northwest Volunteer says:

    These questions sound really great Allison! I can’t wait for my interview. See you soon!

  2. Hospice Volunteer says:

    Allison, what a neat project! Approximately how long do the interviews usually take?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for your post! The interview time varies in length, depending on each person. Most interviews so far have taken between 45 min and 1.5 hours. Best to plan for atleast 1 hour. There have been a few occasions where the interviews have been cut short or more detail was required on a particular aspect of the story. In these cases, we may schedule a second interview to have some more time to deepen the perspective. If you have any other questions, you are welcome to drop me a line by e-mail or give me a call at the office. I look forward to hearing your story of hospice! 🙂

      Warmly, Allison

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