Preparing to interview

The article excerpted from Doing Oral History: A Practical Guide by Donald A. Ritchie provided excellent tips on how to effectively conduct interviews.


The subtitle of this 2003 book published by Oxford University Press is: "Using interviews to uncover the past and preserve it for the future." That is my aim.


The author provided a lot of advice on how to prepare for the interview, set up the interview, conduct the interview and conclude it. He emphasized the importance of being prepared for the interview ahead of time by researching the subject you will be interviewing and by having knowledge of the subject matter.


It is also important to establish some sort of relationship with the interviewee so trust has been built. A rapport needs to be developed so that the interview can go smoothly.


Ritchie also provided tips on how to operate the device that will be recording the interview and where to place the camera. Another thing to think of ahead of time is what to do if a problem arises during the interview. An example of this is the interviewee saying something you disagree with. In this situation, you should hear the interviewee out for their reasoning.


Overall, this article helped me to feel comfortable in preparing for the interview and gave me a clearer idea of what to expect.


About Jacqueline Marcinczyk

Jackie Marcinczyk is a junior at Caldwell University. She is studying Business Administration with a minor in Criminal Justice and hopes to attend law school after graduating from Caldwell University. Jackie participates in a variety of extracurricular activities on campus, and enjoys being an involved member of her sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon. Jackie looks forward to participating in the SisterStory project. During the Spring of 2018 she was paired with Sister Elaine Keenan, OP; a Dominican Sister of Caldwell.