Professional Interview Project Guidelines


Conducting the

the Interview

Mechanics of
the Report

Script for
Initial Contact




Selecting a Interviewee   

Select an individual licensed librarian/media or educational technology professional. Before selecting a person to interview, try to think of what you hope to discover from the interview. Be especially vigilant to include questions about the three stages in your interviewee’s particular career (training, current feelings and experiences, and future professional goals). You should not select an interviewee based solely on convenience.  If you are unable to find of a good candidate, we will confer with EDT7000 classmates who may be able to assist you. If you still cannot find an appropriate candidate your instructor will assist you. 


Contacting Your Interviewee 

Call your interviewee candidate (see script for initial contact in Appendix A) and explain the project. You have been asked to conduct an interview about concerning this person’s professional:

·        aspirations and training,

·        position related to the status and needs of the profession

·        state of affairs regarding the profession

·        sense of direction within the profession.

Most professionals are willing, eager, and proud to discuss their chosen profession.  Remember to reassure the interviewee that the interview will be targeted toward professional activities and then review all aspects of the INTERVIEW CONSENT AND CONFIDENTIALITY PAGE(see appendix b).

Schedule your interview according to the interviewee's time and convenience.   The duration should be convenient and should be completed within a reasonable length of time. One hour is usually sufficient. Sometimes a follow-up is appropriate. Identify the location that is comfortable and private.  Don't conduct an interview while your interviewee is engaged in some other task. Try to conduct your interview in a private setting.  


Preparing Your Interview Plan   

The following are some suggestions about how to plan for your interview.  It is up to you to prepare an interview plan -- there really is no single best method for conducting the interview.  You should prepare questions after familirazing yourself with ISTE or ALA, whichever is appropriate for your program.

The topic areas you should include in your plan depend on your interviewee and their professional position. In general the interview should include questions related to one’s aspirations and training, their “person take” related to the needs of the profession, their feelings regarding the state of affairs regarding the profession, and their sense of direction of the profession. This list is deliberately broad. You should “drill down (query) for details and understanding.  You may delve into their dreams, aspirations, satisfactions, disappointments, triumphs, and regrets. In other words, be sensitive to your interviewee’s preferences related to privacy and confidentiality. You should delve into the “lessons learned” aspects of one’s professional life.

For example:  "Did your parents or friends play a role in ....?"  "Where did you go to school?"  "What related jobs have you held?" Do you feel that any of your jobs contributed to your success as a(n) ....?  "What did you profit from most in your professional training?  Why?"  "How do you feel about your present position?" 

Conducting the Interview   

You will need to use a portable tape recorder.  Bring a notepad and pen/pencil as well, to note any thoughts that occur to you during the interview. 

Interviewing Techniques  
You should begin the interview by reviewing the purpose of the interview and the "Confidentiality and Consent" sheet. Your interviewee should sign section 1 prior to proceeding. (See Appendix B).  You may find the following useful:

  • Relax, speak normally and be courteous. 
  • Silence is to be expected and is O.K.  Give your interviewee time to think before asking another question. 
  • Listen to what your subject is saying.  Respond to their comments by asking follow-up questions.
  • Avoid interrupting even if the interviewee is straying from to topic and/or jumps to another point.
  • Do not be upset if you fail to cover all the questions in your interview plan. 
  • Be tactful. 
  • Be sure to thank your interviewee.
  • When you complete the interview ask your interviewee if you might briefly call him or her for a short follow-up.
  • Tell your interviewee that they may review the written report prior to its submission.


  • Never argue or debate
  • This is a “fact-finding” mission. 
  • Ask for clarification related to jobs and responsibilities. Initially not everything your interviewee says may make sense. For example, one interviewer did not understand the librarian’s job of “weeding” in the library. The student actually thought that the librarian went outdoors to pick weeds from the grass or side walk.


Reporting the Interview  

After the interview, you will have a great deal of raw data about your interviewee and his or her professional life. At the outset, you'll have the basic facts of his or her professional preparation, responsibilities, relationships, direction, etc.  You must then decide on the pertinent facts and themes that you should present in the interview paper.  Clearly, not everything is equally important. Decide what is important and report worthy.

Next, combine the information from the interview with information from written, on-line, or media sources. Go to a library to explore. Compare what you found out with ISTE and ALA standards.

1)     Place your interview in a context (i.e, describe the person and organization but do not identify either.).

2)     Cluster content by heading and place information into a chronology.

3)     Determine headings and running headings.

4)     Decide on what personal advice you can gleam from this activity.

5)     Identify goals and objectives for your professional studies at WSU.

NOTE WELL: You will be asked to review this paper at the conclusion of your professional studies at WSU.


Mechanics of the Report  

Your final report should represent your professional view of your chosen profession. From this work you will be expected to develop and complete work related to your chosen professional area. This assignment was also developed to help you understand the standards and requirements of your profession. Adhere to the following guidelines: 

  • The final report should be 7-10 pages long (double-spaced, 10-12 point type). 
  • The body of the report should again be in the form of a third-person narrative related to the professional life of an educational technology leader or a library/media professional. 
  • Your narrative should give the basic facts and events of your interviewee’s professional preparation and life. What he or she found most satisfying or rewarding in his or her current professional position?  What are his or her regrets?  What are his or her hopes for the future? 



Appendix A 


You will need to complete a basic information sheet on your subject. Below is a script to help you ask the questions that will help you complete the BASIC INFORMATION SHEET that follows. 

Be aware that not all of these questions may be applicable. Make changes to the script where necessary!  

Hello, my name is _________________. I am a first year student at Wright State University. I have been asked to talk to you about education, work history and job responsibilities that you have in your current position as ____________. I want to assure you that the interview will be confidential and I will only use the information to complete my written project. Would you be willing to give me some time to interview you?" (If yes, set a time and the location.)   Then say,  "In order to do a little background research I need to ask you a few questions, if you don't mind. I certainly don't mean to pry, but this will help me be prepared for the interview so that  I don't waste any of your time." 

1. How long have you been in your current position?_________________________________________________. 

2. How long have you been interested in ________________________________________________________.

This is great and it will help me get started on some questions. Thank you very much for talking to me, and I will see you on



NAME:_________________________________  TERM:__________________  

Interviewee's Pseudonym: _________________________________________________________________ 
(It can be her initials or whatever you choose, but you should keep her given name confidential) 

Occupation Title: ____________________________________________________ 

Major events, movements, or issues that affected your interviewee’s professional life:  ____________________________ 


Other relevant information that you find interesting about your Interviewee: 




Date, time and place of first interview: ____________________________________________________ 


Appendix B 


To the student:  

It is your responsibility to be sure the person you interview understands and consents to the purpose of the interview. Furthermore, his/her remarks will be discussed in class and may archived for educational or research purposes. Your candidate may elect to participate and not have his or her comments used for educational or research purposes.

It is your responsibility to respect all wishes related to confidentiality and privacy. All information that your interviewee gives you should be about his or her professional life as an educational technology professional, media specialist or librarian.  Specifically, 

  • You should not reveal nor should you discuss portions of conversations outside the professional context. 
  • All written and oral discussion related to your interview should avoid reference a person’s actual name, school district, or organization.
  • When you make arrangements for the interview you should go over each of the points (see below) with your interviewee.

To the Interviewee:

You are being interviewed as part of an exercise for students preparing to become educational technology professionals, or librarians.  Please be assured that: 

  • The information in your interview will be used in relation to the course EDT7000 Entry Seminar in Educational Technology.  This course is the first in a program to prepare professionals to become licensed educational technology leaders and library/media professionals.
  • A tape-recording of our meeting will be used only by me (the student), but may be reviewed by my instructor. The tape will not be archived and it will be erased following the submission of the written assignment. 
  • Other EDT7000 students and or WSU faculty may review my written report of our meeting.
  • You have the right to decline to answer any question or request that your response to a question not be included in a written record of the interview.
  • You may stop the interview and withdraw your consent for participation at any time. 
  • You have the right to request and receive a copy of the written interview even prior to submission.
  • Should you desire additional clarification or should you wish to voice concern over any aspect of this project, please contact:

Dr. Roger Carlsen, (937.775.3283) Wright State University

We greatly appreciate your willingness to participate in this important learning experience for our future educational technology professionals and librarians. This is a professional requirement for those preparing to enter the field as educational technology and Library/Media professionals. Your consent to be interviewed makes your professional better and stronger.

To be completed prior to interview:

I hereby grant my consent to participate in this project ____________________________________ .

School district or organization: _______________________________________________________

To be completed prior to submitting the written report for class credit:

I hereby approve and grant my permission for the written report of this interview to be submitted to the instructor/s of EDT7000. I also understand that this report may be used for educational or research purposes. However, all personal identification of my person and the organization will be removed from all such activities.