Oral Tradition

The interview (3)

Throughout the interview, notes should be taken to guide new questions or new topics, or to record bad reactions to questions already asked or to the equipment, as well as distractions and discomfort; that is, issues that should be taken into account in future recordings. The interviewer may also write down details, words, translations, relevant data and his/her own comments. The notes help complete the final report and improve performance as an interviewer.

However, such data collection should be done in a way that does not distract or disturb the interviewee. If it does, it is preferable to leave it and comment on the same tape the details to remember, in some convenient way. In any case, notes may be written at the end, as soon as possible.

It is useful to keep a work diary about what was done each day: who was interviewed, what questions were asked and what subjects were touched, re-orientation or correction of the work (something usual when using action-research), discoveries that improve the following interviews, how many hours were worked, who was hired, what e-mails were sent, what texts were read, or what meetings were attended. All these data form a navigation log that facilitates future work and may be useful to later projects or researchers.