Preparing for the Interview


Four shoeprints labeled prepare, begin, conduct, conclude.


There are four basic steps to follow for any data-gathering interview.

  • Preparing for the interview
  • Beginning the interview
  • Conducting the interview
  • Concluding the interview


A good researcher knows that preparation and planning often make the difference between a successful research project and a not-so-successful one. For example, some of the things you need to think about before you begin include how many people to interview, how long each interview should last, how many interviews should be done with each person, and what kind of equipment or supplies are needed.

Before you start to prepare for an interview, you should first decide what you want to get out of the interview. This means, you will have to set goals for the interview, as well as understand the purpose of the interview. You should have interview questions prepared in advance - questions that will give you the information you need.


To prepare to conduct an interview, you should:

  1. Gather as much information as possible on the subject of the interview.
  2. Develop questions about the subject matter as a starting point for gathering information.


The types of questions you ask will determine the quality of the responses. Therefore, critical thinking skills are very important to this step in the process.





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