- Be reassuring to the interviewee and be
aware that when telling life stories, memories and emotions may surface (joy, sadness,
tears, anger). Respect the interviewees' feelings and be gentle.
- The interviewee may be apprehensive about
the taping equipment you are using. The interviewer may need to show how the tape
recorder/video equipment, etc. works to make the interviewee feel more comfortable.
SUPPLIES TO BRING TO THE INTERVIEW:
Extra cassette tapes - more than you think you will need
Extra batteries for the recorder
Two extension cords, 15" or longer
Towel to fold over the external microphone to muffle noises
Pad to take notes (write down extra questions not on your list)
Your list of questions
Watch or clock (if it doesn't tick too loudly)
The Oral History Association suggests the
following guidelines for the interviewer:
- Interviewer should ask questions with
respect for human dignity and should guard against exploitation of the interviewee. Don't
ask questions that may hurt the interviewee's feelings or give out information that he/she
has asked you not to use.
- Interviewees should be selected on the basis
of being able to give correct information.
- The interviewer should know as much about
the interviewee as possible and be able to ask opened ended questions so that the
interviewee will give more than a yes or no answer.
- Interviewer should let the interviewee know
how the interview is to be used.