The following interview features University of Wyoming student and computer lab assistant Tiffany Le Gal discussing her job in the IT department.
While I’ve used the digital audio recorder during several interviews in the past year, my most significant problems arose when I tried uploading the completed interview to Soundcloud. The recording seemed to upload to the audio sharing site, but I wasn’t able to save my account after uploading! Eventually I succeeded, but only after beginning the process in a refreshed browser window on the fourth attempt. I have a feeling my troubles were related to the Mac issue: my OS is a little outdated, and Apples are just finicky creatures to boot.
Since I was interviewing someone I knew so well — whose sentences I often finish, and vice-versa — I found that our familiarity was an obstacle to the interview. She was swamped with homework this weekend, and we kept postponing our appointment. I didn’t help by repeatedly reminding her to think of something to talk about, and it wasn’t until the third interview that we narrowed our focus to her job in IT. While it was a shaky start, she soon found a rhythm with minimal prompting from me. Since we were switching gears on the fly, I began this interview with only three questions, two of which were covered by Tiff without my asking, so I fumbled in the last 30 seconds with a couple of daft questions. Tiff covered well there, too, and I’m confident I can edit this audio down to a strong and even informative audio story.
I was interviewed for this project when Tiff took the class last year, and I remember enjoying myself. While I’m terrible at speaking in front of people, the intimacy of an interview generally puts me at ease. During my interview with Tiff, I realized it’s also vital to find a focus for the subject, something which she feels comfortable talking about. This takes pressure off the interviewer, and places the subject in her element, prompting a freer flow of information than questions that are out of the blue. I employed the trick of waiting through an awkward pause, and sure enough, Tiff thought of something else she wanted to say and did so.
Less work for me!
One thing I would change is the length. We actually went over five minutes, but the interview fell apart in the last 20 seconds. I decided the piece was definitely stronger without them, and I used Audacity to edit them out, which brought the total length down to 4:50.