The Bedford Researcher: http://www.bedfordresearcher.com
Checklist: Conducting an Interview
Directions: Use this checklist to keep track of your activities as you prepare for and conduct an interview.
You can indicate whether you have completed a particular activity by placing an X in the left-hand
column. You can also record your notes at the bottom of the checklist.
1. Arrive early and review your questions. If you are conducting your interview over the
phone, set time aside before the call to review your questions and then call the person
you are interviewing at the agreed-upon time.
Introduce yourself and ask for permission to record the interview. Explain why you are
conducting the interview. Ask for permission to record and use quotes from the interview.
3. Set up and test your recording equipment. Ideally, use an audio or video recorder to
make a complete record of your interview. At a later time, you can review what was said
and carefully transcribe exact quotations from the tape.
4. Ask your questions clearly and be ready to respond with follow-up questions. Allow the
person you are interviewing a chance to answer your questions fully. Don’t insist on
strictly following your list of interview questions; if discussion naturally flows in another,
useful direction, be prepared to shift your line of questioning
5. Take notes, even if you are using a video or audio recorder. A set of handwritten notes
will serve as a backup in case of technical glitches and will help you remember ideas you
had during the interview.
6. Be alert for related sources mentioned in the interview.. If you learn during the interview
about specific sources that might be relevant to your research writing project, ask for
copies of those sources
7. Leave your contact information when the interview is over. Provide a way for the person
you interview to reach you to change or add anything to his or her comments.
8. Send a thank-you note. Let the person you i