Reporter's interview

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A Reporter's tips on how to maximize information from an Interview

A Reporter's tips on how to maximize information from an Interview

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  • This presentation is designed to teach students techniques and etiquette for effective interviewing when conducting field research for their classes.
  • This screen provides an overview of the major points for discussion in this presentation.
  • This screen emphasizes the importance of etiquette in the interviewing process. Remind students that the more polite and thoughtful they are, the more their interviewee will be willing to help them.
  • This point in the presentation can be a good time to stop and brainstorm possible questions with your students.
  • This screen provides more brainstorming material.
  • It’s worthwhile to remind your students here that details like pens that work and well-sharpened pencils can make the difference between a successful interview and an unsuccessful one. This screen is also a good place to discuss the ethical obligations that the interviewer has to the interviewee.
  • Online interviewing is becoming an increasingly common form of field research, but students must remember that they still owe it to their interviewee to ask in advance and to indicate the nature and scope of the interview. Instructors may wish to use our PowerPoint on email etiquette as a supplement to this presentation if they are encouraging email interviews.
  • Instructors should remind their students of the importance of courtesy. This screen can also afford an opportunity to comment on the importance of verification for academic research.

Transcript

  • 1. Field Reporting: Conducting an Interview Educate yourself before you try to describe an event to others.
  • 2. How to Conduct an Interview
    • Making contact with your interviewee
    • Preparing for the interview
      • Coming up with Questions
    • Meeting with your interviewee
    • Following up on your interview
  • 3. Setting up the Interview
    • Contact the potential interviewee in advance
    • Be sure that you ask for the interview. This person is doing you a favor
    • Arrange a specific time and place, and let the interviewee know how much time it will take
    • Identify the topic that you will be discussing during the interview
  • 4. Preparing for the interview
    • Be sure to write out a list of questions in advance
    • Find out whatever information you can about the person you’re interviewing
    • Decide which questions are highest priority if time runs short
    • Decide what your goals are for the interview
  • 5. Coming up with Questions
    • Ask yourself: “What is it that I need to know?
    • Write down a list of things that you are hoping to find out
    • Write a list of questions that you think will lead to these answers
    • Check the questions carefully to see if the wording could be offensive to your interviewee
  • 6. Meeting the Interviewee
    • Always bring a stiff-backed notebook and several trustworthy writing instruments
    • If you wish to tape-record your interview, always ask before doing so
    • Keep notes on the interview, but make sure that you are still talking to the interviewee, not just scribbling
  • 7. Meeting the Interviewee(cont.)
    • Be sure that you come to the interview with a prepared list of questions (more than you think you’ll need!)
    • Try to stick to the topic at hand, but be ready to be flexible if your interviewee brings up unexpected but valuable information.
  • 8. Online Interviewing
    • If you need to interview via email, don’t forget to ask permission for the interview
    • Make sure that you establish the scope of the interview and the amount of time the interviewee is committing to.
    • Remember that the same rules of courtesy still apply
  • 9. Following up the Interview
    • Always be sure to thank your interviewee, orally and in writing
    • Once you have written up your results, you may want to re-contact the interviewee to recheck facts
    • Write up your results soon after the interview while they’re fresh in your mind
  • 10. Conducting an Interview
    • Remember, conducting a successful interview involves attention to each of the following steps:
      • Making contact
      • Preparing for the interview
      • Meeting the interviewee
      • Following up on the interview
      • Quickly writing the final piece