Interview with a Zookeeper: Concerns and HopesPosted: November 3, 2013
My interview is scheduled for tomorrow and while there is an understandable degree of apprehension, I am also looking forward to the opportunity to conduct my first oral history interview.
I have a few concerns about the interview but most are things that will be appeased once it is underway. For example, I want to make sure I get there on time and set up quickly as not to eat into our time too much and I also hope the room the interviewee’s team have booked is quite enough for a good quality reading. I also share Nicola’s concern however, about how my interviewee will react to questions relating to his early life. I am interested to explore where this interest and passion originated and think questions regarding early life could help build up this picture – but with this section falling early on in the interview it could make for a more difficult beginning as we ‘get to know each other’.
However, aside from administrative issues I’m feeling quite comfortable with the task before me. It was a huge relief to find someone who was willing to volunteer and so I am determined to make the most of this opportunity. I have prepared a few questions, outlining specific themes I hope to cover, but am prepare to deviate from this and respond to the conversation we end up having. I don’t want it to feel rehearsed or disjointed and hope that the conversation will evolve naturally without too many referrals to my prompt sheet. My main hopes however are that I will walk away with an understanding of what a zoo keeper understands their role to be and what motivated them to pursue this peculiar line of work and that the interviewee will have walked away having enjoyed the experience.