Interview Day is Almost Here

I’m growing increasingly anxious about conducting my first ever Oral History interview. In fact, my feelings are best described as apprehension and fear. There is so much to prepare, consider and remember.

I’m concerned that language might be a problem. My interviewee has warned me that his grasp of English is basic and that he might have some trouble communicating with me. It’s something that is constantly in the back of mind as I prepare my questions. I have been doing some reading about the importance of language to identity and I’m hoping the barrier won’t mark me out as too much of an ‘outsider’. I’m also aware that I am being invited into someone’s home, someone who lives by different cultural norms, and I need to respect those throughout. I do not want to cause offense unwittingly.

From a practical point of view, I’m worried about not being able to use the equipment properly and messing up the recording. I’m not going to dwell on that point. As Henry Ford once said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

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2 Comments on “Interview Day is Almost Here”

  1. Graham Smith says:

    ‘Outsider’ status also has advantages as we get to ask questions that are sometimes less permissible for insiders. Good luck with the interview and please let us know how it goes.

    As Peter Cook used to say, “I have learned from my mistakes, and I am sure I can repeat them exactly”.

  2. Graham Smith says:

    ‘Outsider’ status also has advantages as we get to ask questions that are sometimes less permissible for insiders. “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right” (Henry Ford). Good luck with the interview and please let us know how it goes.


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