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Interviewing an Expert
Contacting the Expert
- Call or email. Politely inform the person that you're a college student doing research for a presentation, project or paper, and that you hope they might have a few minutes to talk with you about your topic. Have your calendar on hand as you set up your appointment. Now is a good time to ask if they'll mind if you bring a recording device along.
Before the Interview
- Prepare a few questions. You might start with their name (including spelling) and position title. Have a few focused, open-ended questions.
Conducting the Interview
- Strive to have a conversation. People like to talk about what they know, but don't appreciate getting drilled.
After the Interview
- Thank your interviewee, and ask if you may contact them again if you have any further questions.
- Write down what you learned and flesh out your notes as soon as you can.
- Send a thank you card or email.
Finding Someone to Interview
- To find local experts, search the Hawai'i State Government, Aloha United Way, or the Honolulu newspapers for information on your topic. Who wrote that information or works in the department or agency that knows about that topic? Who have local journalists turned to with their questions?
- Find scholars who study your topic. Search Academia.edu or Google Scholar to find the names of scholars on your subject, then try a regular Google search to find out where they teach or do research.
- Network. Ask your family, friends, and instructors if they know someone who knows about your topic.
Associations & Organizations
Windward Community College Library