Interviewing

I’m at a bit of a “hurry up and wait” phase in my feature story. I’m need about three more interviews, or parts of tape, before I have all that I need. Sarah and I think that even as soon as the end of this week I will be able to start working on my script. I thought I’d take a second to talk about interviewing.

I’m usually pretty nervous about interviews, but the more I do it the more comfortable I get. The interviews I have been taking recently have been pretty short, under forty-five minutes, and I sometimes wonder if I move too quickly through my interviews. There is value to building a certain rapport with the person you are interviewing and giving them a few minutes to get used to being interviewed and having a microphone in their face.

I think that may have been the case yesterday when I went to interview a case worker in Head Start. She was clearly nervous, placing me in the position of making her comfortable and thereby lowering my nervousness considerably. They aren’t joking when they say you should start with the easy questions. Rapport and comfort of the person you are interviewing are the main reasons, I think. Because the more comfortable they are with you, the more likely they are to open up when you ask the tough questions, the personal questions that can be a little intrusive, both to ask and answer.

When I got to interview a parent tomorrow that will be even more important. I am noticing that the farther I get from bureaucracy the more important this rapport becomes.

I’m getting pretty anxious to get going on the script for my story, even though I know it will be challenging. Still, it was so exciting to hear the stories come along in class last Saturday. Some are basically finished and only have their narrations to record. Others have everything they need, they just need a framework and storyline for their story. I still need tape before I can get started properly. Hopefully I’ll have them all by the end of the week.

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