PAL Card

PAL Card Interview: Tips for Gathering Background Information

During the PAL Card interview, it is important to gather additional background information about the resident so you are able to provide a brief bio on the front of their PAL Cards. Questions about a resident’s background are NOT included on the PAL Card interview. Below are a few tips and approaches to obtaining a resident’s background information: 

  • “Can you tell me more about that?” The goal of the PAL interview is to learn about important details that make this person unique. Show that you are genuinely interested in their answers by asking for more detail. For example, if a resident says “I was a teacher,” ask to know more about that experience – How long did you teach? What subject/grade level did you teach? What did you like about it? What are you most proud of? 
  • “Is there anything you would like to add?” At the end of the interview, ask if there is any other information that wasn’t covered by the questions that they want to make sure is on their card. Sometimes, when residents know that others will be reading the card they may have more specific information they want to be shared. 
  • Ask background questions throughout the interview. As you go through the interview, things may naturally come up as part of the conversation. For example, when asking someone how important it is for them to be around family or friends, take that opportunity to ask about who is in their family, ask for stories about growing up, special connections they have with family or friends, etc. 
  • Have background questions prepared to ask at the beginning of the PAL interview. Below are questions that are helpful in gathering background information. Feel free to add others as needed. 
  1. Where are you from? 
  2. What was it like growing up there? 
  3. Can you tell me about your family? Spouse, children, parents, siblings? 
  4. Did you have pets? 
  5. What were your previous hobbies? 
  6. Have you traveled anywhere? What was your favorite place? 
  7. What was your occupation? Did you enjoy it? 
  8. What is your greatest accomplishment or proudest moment?