Interview Questionnaire

  1. Would you please state your job title, where you currently work, and how long it’s been since you graduated from college?  (Note: If you’d rather not name your employer, you are welcome to simply offer a broad description of the organization.)
  2. Can you provide a very brief description of your primary job functions?
  3. How frequently are you required to write? Can you please estimate, in an average week, what percentage of your job requires writing?
  4. What forms or types of writing or kinds of documents do you most often complete? (If the participant requires clarification: “For example, memos, emails, reports…”) Who are the primary audiences? What are the primary purposes of these communications?
  5. Can you describe a time in your career that you felt unprepared as a writer at work? How did you handle that situation?
  6. What kinds of writing were you asked to create as a student? In what ways do you think your academic background prepared or did not prepare you to write in the workplace?
  7. Please describe your writing process, including how writing “assignments” or tasks are given to you, preparation, and the steps you take from the start of the project to completion. If useful, you might walk us through the process for one specific recent project or type of project.
  8. If your documents go through revisions or multiple drafts, how do you approach making these changes or improving your writing from one draft to the next?
  9. How long you do typically have to complete a writing project?
  10. What is at stake in your writing?
  11. How do you believe you have evolved or improved as a writer, if at all, over your career so far?
  12. Who oversees your writing? Could you give us a brief description of their title and role in the organization? How would you say they judge the success/quality of your writing?
  13. What practical steps did you take in the office to overcome early writing challenges? (If they hesitate, suggest: “For example, looking at documents by other writers in the office, asking questions of more senior writers, or seeking out professional training.”).
  14. Have you had any writing training or education since graduating from college?
  15. What is the most difficult thing about writing in your field and/or your specific position?
  16. Would you say that you’re a successful workplace writer? Why or why not?
  17. What skills do you think are most central to writing in your specific role, organization, and industry/field?