INTERVIEW 'HOW TO' GUIDE

You will have 30-45 minutes set aside during your lab visit to interview the physicist (whose short bio is provided on the 'Lab Info' page). It takes preparation and persistence to conduct a good interview. Follow these steps and learn how to interview like a pro!

STEP 1: Research, research, research. Then research some more. The only way to come up with good questions is to know as much as possible about your subject (in this case, the research they're involved in and their career path).

STEP 2: Brainstorm questions. Read over your research and brainstorm a list of 15 questions. The more specific your questions, the better. Carefully consider the types of questions you ask -- best if the majority of your questions are open-ended. Never ask questions that can be answered with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Make your interviewees talk!

STEP 3: Come prepared. Bring a notebook, a pencil, your list of questions, the camera, and the tripod.

STEP 4: Conduct your interview in an organized, timely manner. During the interview:
  • Be courteous to your subject.
  • Always take time to ask for an explanation about things you don't understand.
  • Don’t be afraid of uncomfortable silences and pauses.
  • Look the person in the eye when asking questions.
  • Listen carefully to the answers. Each answer could lead to more questions or include an answer to a question you haven’t asked yet. Avoid asking a question that has already been answered.
  • Don't read through your questions one right after another. Conduct your interview like a conversation. One question should lead naturally into another.
  • Be open to asking questions that aren't on your list. If you noticed something interesting in the lab or an object or poster that catches your eye in their office, ask about it. You'll likely find some good stories.


[If you find other good sites with useful 'how-to' guides for conducting interviews, please post a message through the 'Discussion' tab. Thank you!]