Skip to main content
InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

GSCL 199: FYS Jewish Cultures (Golbert): Interviewing

Tips for Interviewing


Be fully prepared prior to the interview. If you are going to record the interview know how your recorder works. If you plan to take notes, bring paper and more than one pen. Be sure to have written your questions ahead of time. Be knowledgeable about the topic. Research the aspects of Jewish culture that the interviewee is going to speak about. Let the interviewee know how long the interview should be and be on time!

Your Questions

Have your questions ready, you may come up with additional questions during the interview, that is fine. Create questions to ask before the interview begins. Make sure your questions have a focus. Think about what you plan to cover in your paper and stay on track. It is ok to ask for clarification.

Show Respect

Know the names of basic things within Jewish culture. For example, Jewish people do not go to church, they attend synagogue or shul or temple. Ask which term the interviewee which they prefers. Do not laugh during the interview when you do not understand something.

Record the Interview

Before the interview begins, ask the interviewee if the session can be recorded. Many of you have phones or computers that can record. Try this out before you go to the interview. You may want to take notes while recording.

Confirm and Follow-up

Ask for clarification if you are not sure. This includes the spelling of names, places, holidays and traditions. It is important to be accurate. Have the correct spelling of the interviewee's first and last name. If you need to email them or call them for a follow up question or two that is fine, allow ample time for them to return your call.

At the End of the Interview

Thank the interviewee for their time and information. Give them your contact information and request theirs in case a follow-up is needed.

Research Information

Now that you have completed the interview, you will need to do some research and locate secondary sources to support your paper. Do this in a timely fashion so that you can get the best and most accurate secondary sources.

Interviewing Sources

How to Interview - BBC Blasts  
A series of 4 videos about how to interview from the BBC and reporter David Garrido

Tips for Writing Interview Questions: OWL Purdue: A great Guide to forming your questions.