Oral tradition

The interview (4)

The interview should not exceed one hour, due to the fatigue that can cause to both the interviewee and the interviewer (loss of concentration and physical exhaustion). Even if we do not get a single data item for the project, the interview will be successful and fruitful if, throughout it, a cordial, professional, kind and educated tone has been maintained. It will be one more experience for training in oral testimony collection.

Before finalizing, the interviewee must hear or review the recorded contents briefly. Thus, it can be ascertained whether the interview should continue at another time –because the subject has more to say– or if such continuity is not necessary. It is the point, also, to write down any data that was not clear during the recording, to clarify doubts and to ask any question that is considered useful.

Once the interview ends, it is advisable not to leave the interviewee instantly, not to run away. It is good to take some time to thank for the attention, to chat about the process, or to remember stories and curious data. Sometimes it's a good idea to keep the recorder handy: you never know when another good story might be found.

Cassettes should be thoroughly and carefully labeled. This means identifying each side of the tape and the edge of the box. The following data must be entered:

  • Tape number (eg "2 of 3" or "2/3").
  • The name of the interviewee.
  • Date and place.
  • The name of the interviewer.
  • The name of the project.
  • Side of the tape (A / B).

The largest possible amount of data should be placed on the label of the tape, and complete information on the box label. It is important to make sure that you remove the recording safety from the cassette is removed, to prevent accidents.

It is good to take pictures of the interviewees, so they can be included in the report. Permission has to be asked, and it must be considered where is preferable to take the picture. If the project involves a work or manual activity carried out outdoors, it is advisable to obtain visual documentation on such exteriors and such actions, as well as on the products (and even on the stages of their elaboration). If artifacts or materials are obtained, they must be copied quickly and returned as soon as possible, in the same state of preservation (as in the case of photos). If they are given away, they should be carefully labeled for later identification and association with the recorded materials.

This type of information (collateral materials) accompanies and complements the interview, and helps those who read the report to better understand what they are faciung. At the same time, it recovers, many times, views or images that may be endangered.

Sometimes it is necessary to pay for the interview. In that case, a receipt will be required. If the interviewee signs with an X (in the case of illiterate or staple persons), it is necessary to have two witnesses to sign, and note the name of all of them (including the X).