Tips on how to Approach Potential Interviewees and Get Their Consent to be Interviewed

Tips on how to Approach Potential Interviewees and Get Their Consent to be Interviewed

When conducting oral history interviews, it is important to approach potential interviewees in a respectful and professional manner. You should also be clear about the purpose of the interview and obtain their informed consent before proceeding.

Here are some tips on how to approach potential interviewees and get their consent to be interviewed:

1. Identify your target audience and research potential interviewees

Who are you hoping to interview? Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can start to identify potential interviewees. Look for people who have unique and interesting stories to tell, and who are willing to share their experiences with you.

2. Contact potential interviewees and introduce yourself.

When you contact a potential interviewee, be sure to introduce yourself and explain the purpose of the interview. Let them know how you found their contact information and why you are interested in interviewing them. Be respectful of their time and offer to answer any questions they may have.

3. Obtain informed consent.

Before proceeding with the interview, it is important to obtain informed consent from the interviewee. This means explaining the purpose of the interview, how their responses will be used, and how their privacy will be protected. You should also provide the interviewee with the opportunity to decline to be interviewed or to withdraw from the interview at any time.

Here is an example of a consent form that you can use:

Oral History Interview Consent Form

I, [interviewee’s name], hereby agree to be interviewed by [your name] for the purpose of [name of project]. I understand that my interview will be recorded and that my responses may be used in publications, presentations, or other materials related to this project. I also understand that my privacy will be protected and that I may decline to answer any questions or withdraw from the interview at any time.

Signature: [interviewee’s signature]

Date: [date]

Additionally, please consult our previous blog post, “How to Put Together an Oral History Consent Form,” for more information and an example of a consent form.

4. Be respectful and professional during the interview.

During the interview, be sure to be respectful and professional. Create a safe and supportive space for the interviewee to share their story. Be an active listener and ask follow-up questions to get more information. Avoid asking leading or judgmental questions.

5. Thank the interviewee for their time.

At the end of the interview, be sure to thank the interviewee for their time and participation. Let them know how they can access the interview transcript or recording, and how they can contact you if they have any questions.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting potential interviewees to agree to be interviewed and of obtaining their informed consent. This will help you to create accurate and unbiased oral history interviews that will be valuable resources for future generations.

That’s it for this blog. Please do keep us in mind for any of your oral history transcription needs. Remember to always be kind, stay positive and learn to unwind.


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