INTERVIEW TIPS

Are you wondering who you should interview while doing research for your video? Let us help you.

Are you nervous or unsure about how to interview a forestry professional? Here are some things to consider:

BEFORE

  • Whether this is over the phone or in an email, introduce yourself to your prospective interviewee by sharing who you are and why you are contacting them.
     

  • In your initial contact, explain the purpose of the interview and how you will use the information provided. Tell them that you want to know about their job, so you can make a video for the Thru the Trees contest. Explain that your video will highlight why their job is exciting and important. Determine together whether the interview will be virtual or in-person--and if you will be recording the interview or taking notes by hand.
     

  • If the person agrees to an interview, set a time and place for the interview and let the interviewee know how long you expect the interview to take. Be mindful of the person’s time, and try to keep the interview around 30 to 45 minutes. Ask if they would like to see your interview questions ahead of time.
     

  • Before the interview, prepare the questions you will ask in advance.  Write them down, leaving space to fill in the answers.  Consider what information you want to know to produce the best video about the career(s) you are exploring. 

  • Develop questions that are open-ended so you can draw out information about their job, such as:

    • Why do you like your job?

    • What skills and experiences do you need to perform your job?

    • Do you have any fun stories to share about your work?

    • What is the best part about your job?

    • What is a normal day like for you?

    • What kind of education do you need to be successful?

    • Why do you think your job is important?

 

DURING

  • Introduce yourself.
     

  • Restate the purpose of the interview and how you will use the information provided.
     

  • Take notes to remember specific details.
     

  • Be courteous and grateful.

    • Make eye contact.

    • Listen.

    • Be curious and ask follow-up questions.

    • Don’t interrupt.

    • Say “thank you.”
       

  • Ask the interviewee to complete the Interviewee Release form. (If the interview is virtual or over the phone, have them email the completed PDF to you.)

  • Ask if you can follow up with additional questions later (just in case!).

 

AFTER

  • Send a thank you note.

  • Make sure you have the signed Interviewee Release form
     

  • Review your notes to determine if you need more information.
     

  • Use the interview to inform your film!