I. The purpose of an interview is to elicit and record information, opinions and experiences which are unique to the person interviewed. The individuality and personality of your subject should be evident in the written interview.
II. Before conducting the interview, you should do the following:
A. Decide on your purpose for interviewing this person. What do you want to learn?
B. Research the aspects of the person's perspective on the topic in which you are most interested, so that you can ask informed questions.
C. Write up a list of questions or topics designed to ensure that you cover what you need to in the interview.
D. Inform the person of the purpose of the interview and assure them that their participation is voluntary. Understand and apply the University Policy on Human Subjects of research.
III. Record the interview either on tape or in notes.
IV. Before writing the interview report, you should do the following:
A. Understand your instructor's specific requirements for format and content.
B. Set up a goal, an end purpose, for the interview. Organize your transcript/notes so that they logically support that goal.
Example: Your goal is to interview Ms. Jackson to find out the advantages and disadvantages of being a working mother. Your notes might be organized so that Ms. Jackson's comments about her job are all grouped together, as well as her comments on day care, on leisure, and so on.
V. While writing the interview report, make sure you accomplish the following:
A. Inform your reader about your purpose for conducting the interview.
B. Provide any necessary background material on the person interviewed or his/her area of specialization.
C. Present the salient points of the interview. Relate them clearly and specifically to your purpose.
D. Integrate direct quotations into the body of your discussion.
E. Summarize the interview by restating both your purpose and the main points covered in the report.
A. Including material and quotations which are interesting but not relevant to your purpose.
B. Losing track of the individual in an avalanche of data and information.