Interviews 101



First, you will need to read the handout on the different types of interviews.  Now I want you to put to work what you have read. The next step is the development of interview questions (following the steps I will outline).


Interview questions seek information from informants in greater depth than a questionnaire.  In addition, a questionnaire often involves numerous questions while an interview will have fewer questions.  The following instructions will explain what I want you to do for this project.


1.  You will need to first decide how to record your informant’s answers.  You have several options but I will leave the final choice up to you. 

1.  Write the answers by hand.

2.  Record the answers with transcriptions of the important information.  You can use a micro-cassette recorder, micro-recorder, (my favorite) a minidisc recorder or any other device that works for you.


2.  Next you will develop your questions.  You will need a total of 10 questions.  Refer to the interview handout for the different type of questions.  The focus of the questions should center on whatever topic you have decided to interview people about.  The idea is to get an overview of what people do or don’t know about whatever topic you choose.


3.  Make sure to ask a small number of demographic questions (around 5) for each informant.


4.  Now the fun part, finding people to answer you questions.  Not everyone likes talking with people.  Now you will have to talk with people as a “researcher”.  Consider demographics when choosing your subjects.  You must speak with between 5 different people.  How many and which questions you ask will be up to you.  The only requirement is that each person is asked a minimum of 5 of question you developed.


5.  The things you will need to turn in to me will be:

            1.  The questions you asked your informants.

            2.  A summary of the demographics.

            3.  The answers to your questions in whatever form you choose.

            4.  A two page write up on your interpretation/understanding of what you

     learned from your informants answers.


This project will help you develop skills for a more extensive interview you will do later in the semester.