The Interview Process. This is how you do it! . Planning . Interview subject(s) Interview family members who can provide you with interesting and engaging stories and experiences. Seek out people who are good storytellers.
The Interview Process This is how you do it!
Planning • Interview subject(s) • Interview family members who can provide you with interesting and engaging stories and experiences. • Seek out people who are good storytellers. • Remember, the stories can be positive or negative, happy or sad, serious or humorous, etc.
Planning, cont’d. • Preparing interview questions • Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of this interview?” • Then, make a list of specific questions. • What about the subject’s experiences would you like to learn? • For oral histories and personal experiences, begin questioning at a general level (gather background information first) and then move to the more specific. • Make sure you have open-ended questions and NOT questions with yes or no answers in order to get the subject talking. • Also keep in mind the kinds of information an interview can provide better than other sources like anecdotes, strong quotes and descriptive material. • Be sure you go into the interview prepared and focused.
Types of Interviews • Conduct face-to-face interviews. • If the relative does not live here, then either video chat with them or conduct the interview over the phone. • Interviews that are not done face-to-face are very difficult. To gain the full interview experience, you must complete the interview face-to-face.
Setting Up Interview • Through phone call, letter, or face-to-face interaction, explain your project/purpose. • Set up your interview ASAP. • If you wish to record your interview, ask permission to do so prior to the interview.
During the Interview • Interviews are conversations so do not be alarmed if you end up not using all of your questions. • Think of your questions as a guide but since an interview is a conversation, be prepared to ask follow up questions and to just talk to your subject. • Be a good conversationalist. Demonstrate to your subject that you really want to learn from him or her.
After the Interview • End the interview by verifying your information. • Ask if you can contact him or her with follow up questions. • Make sure that you have noted direct quotes. • AND, always thank your subject.
Note-taking • You can use a tape recorder, a note pad or both. I think a combination of both is effective. • We will practice, in class, note-taking techniques. Practicing on your own and devising abbreviations and shortcuts for words and phrases are also helpful. • If you are organized prior to the interview and prepared with writing utensils, a list of questions, etc., note taking will be easier. • We will do this next time.
Analyzing the interview and preparing to write the paper: • What are the most important things you learned? • What, if anything, surprised you? • Can you relate to anything your subject discussed? Have you had similar or different experiences? • What does the interview contribute to your understanding of education? • What questions does interview raise? • What information and/or direct quotes were most powerful or important? • What do you want your readers to learn from this?