Interview Preparation- Online

This weekend, I will be interviewing Sarah Kimmons over email. She came recommended by  my boyfriend’s mother who knows a lot of people who suffered from Sandy. I haven’t formally interviewed her yet, but from what I heard, she has an extremely tragic story. This is one of the angles I want to cover in the story I will be writing at the end of the semester.

According to the book Postmodern Interviewing by Jaber F. Gubrium and James A. Holstein, conducting interviews via the Internet are becoming more prevalent. For someone like me who has a  very busy schedule, internet interviewing is ideal. I barely have time off during the week, so being able to electronically send questions to my subject is the best process for me. In Postmodern Interviewing, Gubrium and Holstein have a chapter called “Internet Interviewing.” This is where I will be drawing most of my techniques from. They talk about listening to what your subject has to say and not leaving them in the dark as you process their response. “Nonresponse in a virtual venue can undermine a developing sense of rapport. It is clear that on-line listening needs to be expressed as words, not silence,” (96). Since I will be conducting my interview via email and not chat, this problem is practically eliminated. “Email allows more time for interviewers to choose their works in one-to-one or asynchronous group interactions” (96). For a sensitive subject such as Hurricane Sandy, I think it’s best for both the subject and I to have time to collect our thoughts. This is something I really like about Internet interviewing. I operate much better in the written medium and can conduct myself better than I ever could in person.

I don’t have specific questions in mind for the interview, rather topics I want to cover which are as follows:

–pre-Sandy preparation

–post-Sandy reaction and reflection

–Problems with insurance

–What steps you have taken to rebuild

I will come up with more topics and questions during the course of the interview.

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One thought on “Interview Preparation- Online

  1. Hi Brittany,
    After conducting a real-life interview, I feel like I’m catching a break by conducting an email interview. If everything is written, you can’t miss anything, right? Not to mention the life interfering with one’s plans aspect. I’m sure you’ll get some great responses and stories from the folks affected by Hurricane Sandy – there are a ton of people out there who can’t wait to tell their point of view and tell a LOT of words about it.
    Best of luck!
    -Amelia

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