What role does this person play in your piece? What is the story you are trying to tell and what is this person contributing? Are they talking about a specific topic or event? Do you need them to talk about an event in chronological order? Do you want them to share their reaction to a particular event?
Before recording a conversation or interview with your subject, always make sure to get their consent. It's good practice to have your subject consent to being recorded on tape. If you plan to exhibit or broadcast publicly it is also good practice to get a written consent stating the various methods of distribution for the project.
*For more information about consent see the Collaboration section of the Libguide.
Setting the Tone
If applicable, send questions or themes in advance so your guest can prepare.
Who is doing the interview? Their personality matters.
Setup ahead of time and have everything ready so when your guest arrives they don’t feel you rushing around or anxious about equipment not being setup
You can interrupt if you need to redirect the conversation but in general let your guest speak to their experience
Asking the Right Questions
Ask questions that demand a complete answer
Don’t lead with hard questions
Don’t rush tough pauses
Be brave enough to ask the questions you need to ask but make sure you are sensitive to where your subject is emotionally
Try not to react to your subject through sound (mm hmm or yeah). You can nod or change your facial expression to show attentiveness but you are recording everything and editing out your reactions can be tough
Ask if there is anything you’ve missed or they want to share at the end of an interview