Interview Session

In the days before the interview I sent the interviewee the questions I had written up, allowing her to pre-think through her answers which I hoped would remove the pressure of the situation for her and allow her to go through the questions with ease, and say what she wanted. The session began by explaining how the interview was not going to be scripted by myself and I didn’t have any expectations of what the interviewee should say. She could rerecord bits she wasn’t happy with, listen back to what she was saying but also had the freedom to have notes to remind her of things she wanted to say, this was her story to tell and so she needed to have the freedom to say what she pleased. She began to calm down and settle her nerves when she realised that the audio was going to be edited and any mistakes she made wouldn’t be kept in.
She had prepared an introduction speech which was absolutely fantastic, its exactly the kind of thing which would be needed to make some kind of impact on the audience, what she says throughout it really describes her experience and how she felt. At first she did make a couple of mistakes where her statement didn’t flow how she had wanted to but I reassured her that it was okay and she should continue because it sounded fine through my earphones.
Due to the interviewee being my best friend since junior school, it was difficult at some points during the interview not to strike up a conversation or to react to some of the things she was saying and I think she was expecting me to as well as at certain points she did pause as if waiting for me to say something but because I didn’t want her to feel like she couldn’t say things she wanted to without getting a reaction I continued to sit and listen through the earphones until she realised she could continue.
Also after the previous project’s experiences with interview recording, I chose to use a small voice recorder which was highly sensitive to any slight noises and I had to explain this to the interviewee to prevent her from doing anything which would spoil the audio quality like shuffling paper or playing with things on the desk whilst she answered the questions, although we did need to rerecord one answer as one of my flatmates decided to bound down the hallway and despite the recorder being on the other side of the room to the hallway, the recorder was still sensitive enough to pick that up.
Overall I was really impressed by the interview, the interviewee was incredibly brave, candid and willing to answer the questions, in fact the only question she didn’t answer was the one about what her condition was called and this is because in 5 years she hasn’t said the name of it so instead just refers to it as an eating disorder. It was good to experience a one to one interview and how reassuring the person can help a lot.

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