The best way to fill your school’s yearbook with hilarious anecdotes, memorable quotes, and cultural relevance is to ask your students the right yearbook interview questions.
Great questions can unearth great stories from seemingly the most “boring” places, give you a fresh perspective on an old, tired subject matter, and quickly highlight for you the biggest trends among your student body. But you can’t do that with boring, binary questions. Yes or no answers are only compelling en mass and repurposed as visuals. They lack the idiosyncrasies and personality that make a yearbook come to life.
To get the right results, your yearbook interview questions need to be open ended. They need to force people to explain their answers. They also need to have a purpose.
Inside this post, we’ll walk you through the three types of yearbook interview questions and how you can use each. Then, we’ll get to the good stuff: 75 ready-made questions you can use to interview students and improve your yearbook. Right now.
Still unsure of what to ask your students? Looking for a place to get started? We’ve got you covered.
What Types of Yearbook Interview Questions Really Work?
There are three types of questions you should be asking in student interviews: surveys, anecdotes, fishing for quotes.
These are the lifeblood of your book. Questions can range from “what was the song of the year?” to “which member of your class would win the presidential election?”. These are fun questions, great for putting students at ease, for building trust before asking them to share personal opinions and anecdotes.
Here, you’re looking for stories. Once a student is comfortable (after you’ve asked survey questions), you’ll want to ask questions that will elicit elaborate responses chocked full of personality. The more long winded, the better (they can be culled).
Asking for anecdotes won’t just give you unique insights from the student perspective: it’ll give you insight as to the events that demand more coverage from yearbook staff, too.
Fishing for Quotes
Distilling your school’s most important events into tweet-length bits gives your yearbook some punch. It’s likely many of them will be hilarious, not serious and that’s okay: quotes don’t have to be profound, they just need to capture moments. Who knows: maybe a student will say something that perfectly captures your school’s milieu this year.
Whatever you do: avoid yes or no questions at all costs. Binary questions devalue opinions in favor of convenience; only the most gregarious students will overshare. You want your yearbook to be diverse, offering as many different personalities as it possibly can.
Yearbook Interview Questions: A Complete List
Without any context, your yearbook is just a photo album. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Pictures are great. They’re absolutely the first things students will look at. But aside from a few amazing images, they’re not the stuff people are going to talk about. It’s the written context—the stuff people read and learn when they open the book—that really resonates.
To get that, you need yearbook interview questions that will get your students, teachers, coaches, and administrators to open up. Here are 75, separated by category, to get you started:
High School Student Life
- Do you drive to school? What was your most listened to driving song on your morning commute this year?
- Which school tradition are you most proud of?
- Would students be more productive if cell phones were banned during school hours?
- What’s your favorite school lunch?
- Should the school have (or keep) vending machines?
- Do you think an open campus is a good idea?
- What’s your most embarrassing in-school memory? What happened and did you learn anything from it?
- Which event did you most look forward to this year? Did it live up to expectations?
- You can bring any three of your classmates on a cross-country road trip in your family’s hatchback: who would you choose and why?
- If you could get rid of the bells between classes, would you? Why?
- How did you decorate your locker this year?
- How do you avoid participating in gossip? What do you do if there’s gossip about you?
Elementary School Student Life
- Which event at field day was the most fun?
- What was the coolest art project you did this year?
- If your school grew and maintained its own vegetable garden, what would you want to grow?
- If you could plan a field trip anywhere for next year, where would you want to go?
- How do you like to read? (physical books, Kindle, etc.)
- What’s your favorite kind of juice?
- If you and your friends could do any activity after school today, what would it be?
- What’s the best game or sport that you play in gym class? Why is it so fun?
- What’s your favorite school snack?
- If you could choose any animal for a class pet, what would it be?
- Which team’s games are the most fun to attend? Why?
- If you could have the pep band play one song at games, what would it be?
- Describe your crosstown rivalry in one (appropriate) word…
- Which sport does the school need to add next year?
- If anyone in your class would be on ESPN, who would it be?
- What was the most memorable school sporting event of the year?
- How does playing X impact your academic performance?
- What life-lesson(s) did you learn playing X?
- Will you try to play X in college?
- Would you ever consider coaching?
- Do you think participation in extracurricular activities should be required by the school?
- If your club was given an unlimited budget to throw an event for the school, what would you plan?
- Should video games be considered a sport? Which games? Would you join a school eSports team?
- If you could create one new club for next year, what would it be?
- Who’s the best club adviser?
- Where does your club meet? Do you use any school resources other than space? How could the school provide more support for your club?
- Which plays should the school produce next year? Would you audition if it was something you liked?
- If you could choose any artistic medium and give it a dedicated course, what would it be?
- The jobs you will have one day don’t even exist yet: what kinds of skills do you think you might need to succeed?
- Least memorable United States President?
- Are there enough foreign language options? If not, what would you like to see added? Should they be required?
- What project or assignment challenged you the most as a student? Why?
- Most useful math equation or theory you learned this year?
- What was the longest paper you wrote this year? Who was it for? What was it about?
- If you could conduct any science experiment in a class, what would it be? Do you have a hypothesis ready to go?
- What was the most enjoyable book you had to read for school this year?
- Which subject do you think prepares you most for life after high school? Why?
- Which TV show is most talked about in the hallways?
- What would you be SO embarrassed to be seen wearing (but secretly love)?
- Which meme/gif did you use most frequently this year?
- Which movie that came out this year would you be most embarrassed to watch with your family?
- Which professional sports team were you most excited about this year?
- Which presidential candidate would you vote for?
- If you were in charge of planning a concert for the school, which three artists would you bring?
- What’s your favorite Snapchat/Instagram filter?
- Most social media savvy teacher?
- How can teachers make social media part of their curricula?
- If you could only use one emoji for the rest of high school, which would you choose? (Be sure to check these for appropriateness.)
- Do you have your own website? How did you make it? What do you use it for?
- Which piece of technology has most contributed to your academic success?
- What was the most “viral” event of the school year?
- How would you recommend the school use its technology budget? What kinds of devices or software would you like to see available next year?
- Would you be more likely to read or contribute to the school newspaper if it was digital?
- What’s your favorite podcast? Is there any way teachers could incorporate it into their classrooms?
- If you applied, when did you start your college applications?
- What made you decide not to go to college next year?
- Describe your senior year in three words.
- If you could create one mandatory course for future seniors, what would it be?
- “I will always remember…”
- Should there be a community service components involved in graduation (X number of hours, a project, etc.)?
- Who was your favorite teacher throughout all of high school?
- If you could change one school rule, what would it be?
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Yearbook interview questions don’t need to be awesomely complicated to be awesomely insightful.
If you can remember to keep your questions open-ended and purposeful, you’re already two steps ahead. Try out some of our suggested yearbook interview questions or use them as inspiration to write your own. Either way, make sure to turn to your student body to find those stories, quotes, and trends that will give your yearbook context and make everything, including all those great pictures, more meaningful.