Field Guides to Food

Before the interview

Making contact with an interviewee

The prospect of contacting a stranger out of the blue - or "cold calling" - can be one of the most intimidating aspects of the interview process  (even for experienced sociologists and journalists!).

A good way to deal with this problem is to draft a form letter (or email) and to use it every time you want to line up an interview. A good form letter:

Drafting an interview schedule

The list of scripted questions you'll use in an interview is called the "interview schedule". There are no hard-fast rules for building a good list of questions - it's a skill that develops with practice!

In general, though, you should try to design questions that set up your interviewee to do 90% of the talking. Here are a few tips from the FoodWords team:
Setting up the interview
Once you've drafted an interview schedule, send it to your interviewee so that they can prepare ahead of time.

At this time, it's appropriate to arrange a time and place to conduct the interview. When choosing a location, it's important to consider the following:

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