Thanksgiving is the most traveled season of the year, which means some of your favorite, yet potentially opinionated, family members are coming into town. We all know nothing ruins a Thanksgiving dinner more than Uncle John’s political opinions or Aunt Betty’s countless questions about why you’re not married yet. So we’re here to help!

Interviewees from our video projects are at times distracted or tough to get talking. But our team of producers has been able to focus and construct these challenging interview sessions into beautiful spots to depict a company’s team and culture beautifully. We decided to pass along the tips! Avoid all the politics at Thanksgiving this year by applying these Producer interview tips to steer the conversations in a direction you never thought possible.

Get ‘em Chatting

The most effective way to get your family talking is to have them chat about their most memorable moments and their most favorite stories. People want to talk about things they think command an  audience, so dig deep and help them think about a cool story from their past and how it’s shaped them into the person they are today.

Ex. “Do you have an embarrassing story that happened to you  in high school?”

Be Relevant to the Whole Room

Ask about stories that allow for comparisons from when your family members were growing up to where they are now and make the conversation relevant to everyone.

Ex. “Talk to me about the time you and Mom met because we were laughing about how different dating is today than it was back then. Were you guys at a party? What’s the story?”

The Power of the Follow Up

The secret to a good follow up question is to LISTEN. It’s important to actively listen to what the interviewee is saying and look for a follow-up question that’s going to exude emotion and push the story forward.

When asking a follow-up question, it’s good to fall back to the basics you probably learned in grade school. Ask about the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.

Ex. “Did you think mom was the most beautiful person in the room? How did you follow up to ask her out again?”

Ex. “Do you think you guys would have used online dating if you had it back then?”

Be Curious

For your family members to be willing to talk about their intimate stories from the past, encourage them by keeping curiosity at the forefront. Ask about stories you never knew but are genuinely curious about.

And always make eye contact. It creates a human, emotional interaction and shows you really care about what the person is telling you. It gets them to be honest and forthcoming, helps push more purposeful conversation, creates more engaging storytelling, and gets you the answers you need.  

Ways to steer away

Is your brother-in-law going to interject with a political rant about Kennedy? If things get off track and conversation turns political, keep bringing it back to your initial point and politely remind him of what your goals were in the first place.

Ex. “I’m sure the political climate was so complicated and heavy back then, did you guys have a special hang out you would go to to get away from it all? Lovers Lane?”

By making a light joke, you can let your brother-in-law know that you get him and you respect his opinion. Then you can seamlessly tie his story to the one about how your dad met your mom – and open the conversation up even more by tying everyone’s stories together.

Learning to be a good interviewer can get you far. Far with family, far with friends, and far with understanding how to take the best anecdotes and turn them into the very best storytelling. Whether it’s getting you through Thanksgiving dinner or helping you navigate a room full of strangers, we’re always here to help.  

The team here at Koi-Fly Creative wishes you and your family a healthy, bountiful, and harmonious holiday season. One full of old stories and new opportunities.

Take note of some of our interview tips and avoid Uncle John’s politics while you’re at it!

Click play below to see how we use these tips in action.


Do you have any tips on how to survive the holidays? Comment below!

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