Interview with a Zookeeper: Concerns and Hopes

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.


One Comment on “Interview with a Zookeeper: Concerns and Hopes”

  1. Graham Smith says:

    What a brilliant project and not only from the perspective of understanding a bit more about zoo keepers.

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