Guide #6: Interview
are more ways to gather information than from your text or
your teacher. Experts, grandparents, historians, scientists,
authors, and many others all have interesting and important
stories to tell. To get the most out of interviewing these
people, you need to consider a few things that will help you
get the most out of your interview.
for the Interview
an appointment with the person (it is rude to just show
up and expect the person to give you their time).
a little about the person before meeting him/her.
what you want to get out of the interview ahead of
your questions down before the interview, but be prepared
to take a different path of questioning if
on time, and be prepared with paper and pen/pencil.
friendly and courteous - remember they are giving you
their valuable time!
your questions clearly.
specific, thought-provoking questions. Avoid yes/no
to stay focused, but if something interesting comes up go
good notes. Ask the interviewee to repeat what they said
if necessary, but only do this when it is something
volunteer information unless it is to get the interview
going, to get it back on track, or to give background
information relevant to your goals.
all the information needed before ending the interview.
If necessary, review your notes with the person.
the interviewee for his/her time.
an Expert advice
experts are offering their time to students. If you have
this opportunity either in a chat room or e-mail, you should
follow the above advice, with the exception of getting
straight to the point. Don't waste time "getting to know"
the expert. Ask your questions and move on.
page was designed by Dan
for the Triton
and Patterns Projects
of San Diego Unified School District.
up Conducting Interviews from For
Journalism Teachers Only
updated July 5, 1999.