7 junio, 2024

Profile interview: characteristics, types and examples

The profile interviewalso called profile interview, is a journalistic genre that serves to capture the biographical details of a person: character, personality, customs, ways of thinking, opinions on various topics and personal anecdotes, among other aspects.

The semblance interview seeks to create a kind of portrait of the interviewee. For this, the journalist or interviewer uses various tools such as searching for biographical material and asking questions, in order to develop a biographical sketch.

The profile interview allows us to have a slightly more intimate and close vision of the interviewee, so it is also possible to use certain literary forms that seek to highlight physical and emotional features.

It highlights the value of a person who has a public interest, focuses on individuality in a context of social importance, there is a presence of value judgments and interpretations, and it is timeless, because it is a material that can be reviewed regardless of the moment.


Characteristics of the semblance interview

Some of the most important features of this type of interview are the following:

– It is not considered a biography.

– Describe the character of the interviewee.

– Describes all kinds of features, including ways to express themselves when speaking.

– Does not particularly emphasize physical features.

– Reveals important anecdotes of the interviewee.

– The interviewer can use literary resources in writing.

– There is a presence of value judgments and interpretations.

– In general, the interviewee is a person of social, political or economic importance.

– There is support in biographical and interview resources for the elaboration of the outline that is desired to be achieved.

– To go much deeper into the subject, the journalist or interviewer can also ask questions to people close to them.

– It is timelessly newsworthy, because there is no emphasis on a topic of the present.

– The journalist or interviewer is the one who has control of the process; so he can focus on what he considers most important.

– There is inclusion of movements, gestures and expressions of the interviewee.



It is a posthumous portrait with which the deceased person is remembered. It is usually prepared in advance, so that it is published shortly after the death of the same.

of activities and objects

Some authors believe that within the portraits it is also possible to integrate sketches about customs and important events of a community or region.

In this case, the interviewer will inquire with the people who are in that place to get an idea of ​​the community in question.

Of groups and places

They have a character inclined towards the symbolic-social. In this case, the center is no longer a person but a group that exerts influence in a certain place.

Elements that a profile subject must have

Generally speaking, anyone who is considered important and of social relevance is suitable for a profile interview. However, it is possible to be guided by the following criteria:


A person who has achieved a series of positive achievements is attractive to the public. Information about the way in which they obtained these favorable results is usually included in the portrait of these characters.


It is about a person who is considered to be a celebrity. There is interest in knowing how she dresses, what she thinks, where she lives, what her aspirations are, among other aspects.

Extreme situations

People who are subjected to extreme situations of poverty, oppression and even drug addiction are likely to be subjects of portraits, since they reflect social phenomena that may not be so perceptible to the general public.

Offbeat lifestyle

People who have unusual behaviors or who are outside the range considered normal within a society are also attractive for a portrait.


It refers to individuals who represent a particular cause or movement, or striking social situation.

preparation of the portrait

One of the main points for preparing a profile interview is to start with the basic questions: name, age and profession. This will help the interviewer to establish the starting point of the interview when emptying the information.

After this, questions should be elaborated in order to take into account the most important aspects of the subject of the profile.

When formulating the questions it is necessary to take into account the following:

– Questions related to childhood memories can be an interesting source of anecdotes and revealing information. School experiences, childhood friends, and even relationships with parents can elicit striking responses to the text.

– Details about the interaction with the first friends and even the first romantic relationship are also relevant. For example, if the interviewee has a partner, you can ask how she/he met him/her. The loss or birth of a loved one may also be included.

– Inquiring about personal tastes in topics such as music, sports, movies and books gives a good portrait of the character. It should be noted that, beyond collecting names, it is important that the interviewer also inquires about the reasons behind these inclinations.

– Regarding the personal nature, it is recommended to ask this type of question shortly after starting the interview, in order to previously establish a relationship of trust. Once you have gained some confidence, you can ask about the perceptions of people close to you, as well as how you perceive yourself.


First example

«-And love?

—(Laughs): It’s just that I was a bit rebellious. I certainly don’t want to say that I have closed my heart to love, right? There in the town I met a young man of the same level as I can not forget to date. He still remains in the intimate, going round, round, round. All my feelings, all my illusions come together in him.

second example

“Raúl Madaggri is 95 years old, but he looks young. His light blue eyes have seen many things: the death of his mother in 1932, the bankruptcy of the family business in 1955, the fall of the democratic government in 1976, the birth of his first great-grandchild two months ago… However, they do not look tired. Raúl is a tall man who walks upright and confidently”.


Good questions for a profile interview. (nd). In eHow of ehowenespanol.com.
Definition of semblance. (nd). In DefinicionABC of definicionabc.com.
Journalistic interview. (nd). On Wikipedia at es.wikipedia.org.
The news interview, opinion and profile. In ColorABC of abc.com.py.
the semblance (2009). In ColorABC of abc.com.py.

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