Interview Response

During our peer interview session, I think I was surprised by how many questions were needed to fill the full forty-five minute session. I underestimated how many questions I would need and had to come up with many on the spot. I didn’t find it difficult to come up with more questions as the interview was conversational in manner. I think if I had been interviewing someone besides a classmate, I would have been more nervous and formal.


An important skill I learned from this practice was not rushing or cutting-off my interviewee. Sometimes, by not rushing into my next question, my interviewee would elaborate further and provide more information than giving in the initial response. Allowing the individual to think thoroughly and not rush through the process yielded more thorough and informative responses.


I think I also learned to better phrase some questions. For example, I asked “How do you feel about WaWa?” In actuality, it was a ridiculous question. My interviewee laughed and replied that he didn’t have any strong feelings regarding the convenience food stop. I can think of perhaps 100 ways better to have phrased that question now.

1 Response to “Interview Response”

  1. 1 iaknig February 25, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I think it’s generally true that a) you can never have enough questions and b) you will, if you’re paying attention, think of a lot more questions and you go and c) (therefore) you will never get to all your questions. As for badly phrased questions–it’s OK to say, “Oh geez, I’m sorry, let me try that again.” Obviously, you can’t do that with every question you ask, but once or twice in an interview is fine.

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The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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