7 Steps To Crafting A Personal Interview That Works


CatholicMatch offers a number of tools to help us make a connection with another member, but some of them, like the personal interview, rarely get used.

I first put up my interview quite a while ago and it remained untouched — not because I thought it was finely crafted, but because I didn’t know what to do with the results I got from men. I had answers to my multiple-choice questions — how would you describe your family, what’s your worst habit — but then what?

Rarely did men do anything beyond taking my interview. Nor did I find that their answers inspired me to contact them. What’s a longtime teacher supposed to do? Send it back with a grade A+ and a gold star? It wasn’t working for me and I considered eliminating it altogether.

The personal interview is located on your profile page, right smack dab in the middle, fourth tab in, under the “About Me” section. It is in an obvious place so we should use it, but many don’t. It isn’t a complicated process to create one. It’s all explained right there. So why do so many of us not use it?

In surveying several members about why they do not have a personal interview in their profile, I found the most common answers were “I’m too lazy to make one” and “It’s a waste of time because it doesn’t yield anything.” They echoed my recent thoughts about the interview. I did some soul searching and decided that the lack of results is not due to a faulty tool but to user error. I was going about it all wrong. I took a serious look at how it could really work for us.


It takes work

First, we can’t think that finding love online is going to be any easier than offline. It takes work. If we are too lazy to craft an interview for the man or woman we will want to marry one day, then we are too lazy to find love on CatholicMatch. Let’s get out of the lazy mode when it comes to our profiles. Let’s be deliberate about which questions we ask and the answers we offer.

CatholicMatch offers the option of using their suggested questions and answers. While I maintain that idea is better than nothing, I offer a word of caution. Because I made mine long ago, I did not know that this had become an option.

One day I took a man’s personal interview, and I recognized every bit of it. I was a bit repulsed by the idea that one man might have copied the interview of another man. Now that I know that CatholicMatch has this option of pre-made items, I don’t immediately write off a man with an unoriginal interview. But I’m not impressed. I do hope that my future husband will take the time to do something original. Make the time and work you put into creating a thoughtful interview an act of love for your future spouse. The more I thought about “him” while rewriting my interview, the more I enjoyed it.


We need a first down

Secondly, my interview was a dead end was because I devised questions with answers that were “fourth downs.” They didn’t encourage either of us to go anywhere. There are three basic types of questions and answers in an interview. There are the items that tell me information about him, the items that tell him information about me, and the items that promote one of us to contact the other. I needed more of the third kind of items, which I call first downs because there is a lot of play left in them.

Two examples of first-down questions in my revised interview are:

How did you come across my profile?

A. I read your blog on CatholicMatch.

B. I saw you posting in the forums.

C. Your hat or holiday picture caught my eye.

D. You came up as one of my matches.

E. Other: (Please email me, Dawn, with your ingenious way of finding me besides the other four!)


Our first conversation through email should be about:

A. the weather—it’s a safe topic and a good starting point!

B. sports, music, or books—common interests are good building blocks!

C. how our time on CatholicMatch has been—after all, it is where we’ve met!

D. being Catholic and how we both live that—get to the heart of the matter right away!

E. Other: Dawn, I will email you and begin our conversation with a surprise topic.

Both of these questions give me and the man taking my interview permission to step it up a bit, to directly initiate conversation. The choice of “E” necessitates further communication.

“First down!”

Let’s head to the goal!


Pointers from some experts

Some other things to keep in mind:

  1. If someone is taking your interview, he or she is more than just passing by. It is more interest than an emotigram with no text. He or she is spending time deeper inside your profile. I have 13 questions in my interview. If a man submits his interview answers to me, I should be encouraged by that. He invested some of his time to answer all thirteen of them. (FYI, incomplete interviews are not sent to the interviewer. You have to pick an answer for each question.)
  2. If you are unsure of the choices or you do not like the ones offered, it’s an excellent idea to follow up the interview with a short note. You can indicate that there were questions you would have answered differently. Not all of us want to select A, B, C, or D—some of us look for Q. Suggest that you would be happy to discuss the questions if he or she is interested in your thoughts on things.
  3. Use a variety of questions. It’s a good idea to put light-hearted ones up front to put your reader at ease. Use humor. Try to appeal to various aspects of life. Ask home, work, faith and personality questions. Tammy-492301 has a little bit of everything in her interview, and she even has some first downs. (Her third question is one.)
  4. Don’t try to out fox your interviewee. We aren’t trying to stump someone; we’re trying to find someone we click with.
  5. You don’t have to use all four options for answers, but if you ask a question with the options “yes, no or maybe” be prepared to ask a follow-up question in your email. Again, Tammy’s third question is set up this way. She should inquire in a responding message, “I am interested in the book that changed your outlook on life. Would you please tell me what book and how?”
  6. Remember you are seeking a spouse. Craft your interview with your intended audience in mind. Lynn-189934 has a well-rounded and thorough interview. It’s obvious that he is not interviewing his family or best buddy. His questions indicate that he is looking for his future wife.
  7. Show off your personality in the way you ask questions. Steve-650539 does this really well. His interview is short, but it says a lot about him, is creative, and it builds off of the rest of his profile. His interview is just another great tool in his CatholicMatch toolbox.

Above all, don’t let your interview collect dust in your profile and don’t ignore the results from those who took your interview. Life is not a multiple-choice test, so make your CatholicMatch experience more of an open-ended essay question. When an interview leads to a conversation of any kind, it has done its job.



  1. Monica-345711 May 7, 2012 Reply

    Dawn, thanks for mentioning your article while responding to my forum question on Interviews. Your article has some very good tips. Do you mind if I copy cat your question of How did you come accross my profile? This is a question which has crossed my mind many times, but never thought of using the Interview section as a means to the answer.

    • Dawn-58330 May 9, 2012 Reply

      Hi Monica! Thank you for commenting on this post. I hope that people are finding new approaches to using the interviews, and that they are helpful. I have found that those who have taken my interview are now following it up with other communication.

      Please feel free to use that question. I think it is helpful to know how someone finds me. It also let’s readers know the various ways I use the site. My only word of caution goes to not using a large number of questions from someone else’s profile; that’s where it comes across as inauthentic.

      Best wishes to you!

  2. Dawn-58330 April 15, 2012 Reply

    Thank you, Stephen, for reading. God bless you.

    • Stephen-725391 April 15, 2012 Reply

      After reading your interview questions and those others that you reference – where to you come up with them? Some I would just copy and use because I couldn’t think of originals myself. How do you get the little circles to put the dots into? And how do you use them, that is, if anyone actually does the interview. Seems like a lot of work with little chance of anything especial on a site that frowns on those without annulments. Just saying.

      • Lynn-189934 April 17, 2012 Reply

        I’m afraid I’m pretty creative in developing interviews based upon my experiences in Journalism (I was an “on-the-spot” question of the day reporter for the Campus paper one semester) and human resources (behavioral interviewing) but mine are basically to determine what commonality we might have, as many of the responses will say how much the person either thinks, and what they like. . . .

        I was tempted to put up a Mad Men question that is: I am most like: Betty Draper Francis, Joan Holloway Harris, Peggy Olson, Megan Draper. . . . as that covers four different female personalities. . . but its not fair because you have to watch the show (currently) to answer accurately. . .


  3. Stephen-725391 April 15, 2012 Reply

    Hadn’t thought of it in those terms.

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