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Conducting An Interview. Gathering Expert/Eyewitness Information. Step 1: Gather Background Information. Become knowledgeable about the topic in order to select a potential interviewee and create intelligent questions Read multiple digital and/or print resources Books

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Conducting an interview

Conducting An Interview

Gathering Expert/Eyewitness Information


Step 1 gather background information
Step 1: Gather Background Information

  • Become knowledgeable about the topic in order to select a potential interviewee and create intelligent questions

  • Read multiple digital and/or print resources

    • Books

    • Periodicals (magazines, newspapers, journals)

    • Databases

    • Websites


Step 2 identify a candidate
Step 2: Identify A Candidate

  • Expert: someone who is very knowledgeable about the topic

  • Eyewitness: someone who saw something happen in-person

  • Participant: someone who was involved in an activity/event


Step 3 create questions
Step 3: Create Questions

  • Specific

  • Open-ended (avoid yes/no questions)

  • Edit list of questions

    • eliminate irrelevant and redundant questions

    • list remaining questions logically and in order of importance

    • check questions for clarity

    • approximate the amount of time needed to ask


Step 4 schedule an interview
Step 4: Schedule An Interview

  • Contact interviewee in-person, by phone, via email/regular mail

  • Websites often have contact info.

  • Be polite and accommodating

  • Identify yourself, explain the purpose of the interview, and how much time it will take

  • Reveal the kind of questions that will be asked


Step 5 conduct the interview
Step 5: Conduct The Interview

  • Be punctual, polite, and prepared

  • Take notes

  • Ask permission to record and/or use quotes

  • Give the interviewee plenty of time to respond thoughtfully

  • Ask for clarification or elaboration when necessary


Step 6 use information
Step 6: Use Information

  • After the interview, fill in any information or details that time did not permit while it is still fresh in your mind

  • Review notes and highlight or circle information to use in project/report.


Step 7 give credit
Step 7: Give Credit

  • Give credit to the interviewee in the bibliography/source citation

  • Write a thank you letter to the interviewee


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