(Un)Urban Day 4– interview skills

On Day 4, we learnt some interview skills during the afternoon skill session. I would like to arrange and share some interview tips for everyone.


Before the interview:

  1. Design the questions
    • Structured, semi-structured or un-structured
    • Closed questions or open-ended questions
    • Leading questions vs neutral questions
    • Questions should encourage interviewees to talk more (open-ended questions)
    • Questions shouldn’t contain bias or influence
    • Consider the ethical issues (gender/age/income/nationality/ethnicity/sexuality…)
    • Build a logical structure for interviewees to follow
  2. Distribute tasks (asking questions, taking record, taking notes, noting down interviewees’ facial expressions and gestures, taking photo or sketching)
  3. It is better to take at least 2 records, just in case.
  4. Decide the place (quiet, comfortable, easy-to-talk, inspiring places + safety consideration for both interviewees and interviewers + easy to access) and time
  5. Inform the interviewee about the time and place in advanced.
  6. Be prepared; search for some information about the interviewees in advanced


During the interview:

  1. Introduce yourselves and start with a small chat
  2. Briefly talk about the aim of the interview
  3. Make sure the interviewee allow us to take photo/record (audio or video); interviewees want to remain anonymous or not
  4. Start with some easy questions to deeper questions
  5. Follow the structure of the pre-planned questions but be flexible
  6. Explore individual experiences and attitudes as much as possible
  7. The respondent of interviewer should encourage more conversation as long as the interview doesn’t leave the main topic too far
  8. At the end, a small gift for interviewee (maybe?)
  9. Remain polite and professional during the interview


After the interview:

  1. Make the transcription if needed
  2. Arrange the data as soon as possible (when your memory is still vivid)
  3. Analysis (attention on key words, key themes/ideas, and linguistic structure)



At the end, there is a quite interesting video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oiu5Dh0VSvg&feature=youtu.be showing what a bad interview is like. Wish everyone a nice interview next week. And hope that we have a nice weather this whole week! 🙂


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