The better prepared you are, the better the interview will be. Get ready by following these steps:
Make sure you're prepared.
- Set a date, time, and place for the interview.
- Find out some information about your interviewee and the country he or she comes from.
- Allow plenty of time for the interview.
- Bring a tape recorder if you can. Make sure that it works and that you have enough tape and batteries.
- Even if you're taping, bring pen and paper. Be prepared to take notes.
- Be prompt and respectful.
Get background on your interviewee.
- Find out about the country the person came from: its language, customs, and location.
This information will help you understand your interviewee. Ask the person to bring along pictures they may have.
Write a list of questions.
Write a list of open-ended questions. Keep in mind the reporter's basics: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Here are some questions you might ask. Be sure to add your own. Refer back to this section during your interview.
- What's your name?
- Where were you born?
- What country did you emigrate from?
- What year did you come to the United States?
- Why did you come to the U.S.?
- Did any members of your family come to the U.S. before you? Who, when, and why did they come here?
- What was your trip to the U.S. like?
- What was your first impression of the U.S.?
- Did you bring anything special with you? Why did you bring that item?
- (For adult immigrant) What did you do for a living before you came here? What do you do in the U.S.?
- (For child immigrant) How does school in the U.S. compare with your old school?
- What did you do for fun in the country where you used to live?
You've done your research. You've written your questions. Now it's time conduct the interview.