Task: Develop a written script to take with you on the day of the interview.
Read the “Interview Script Instructions and Preparing for Interview” document in its entirety and see the EXAMPLE script. Remember that you are creating a historical artifact—ask meaningful questions that researchers and future generations may want to know about your interviewee’s military experience.
Ask open-ended questions in which the veteran talk at length—”tell me about…” instead of questions that could have a short one or two word answer. Make contact with your interviewee ahead of time to discuss what you and he or she wants to talk about and is comfortable recording.
Criteria for Success: Your Interview Script will contain all of the following:
The Interview Lead – This is a standard introduction that must be stated verbatim at the start of your interview.
“The following is an unrehearsed taped interview with [interviewee’s name]. The interview is being conducted by [interviewer’s name] for the William H. Berge Oral History Center’s Veterans Project. The interview was conducted in [location] on [date] at approximately [time].”
The Basics – These questions cover basic demographic information about the veteran. Only ask the interviewee to answer those questions with which they are comfortable recording.
Documenting Experiences – Include at least 20 questions that document the veteran’s experiences. Select a total of at least 10 questions from the “Documenting Experiences” lists provided, then, come up with at least 10 questions of your own. Please Bold your original questions that you come up with.
Base the questions on what you and veteran have decided should be talked about in the interview. The questions should help to elicit a deeper understanding of the veteran’s identity, cultures, and experiences using the themes you have learned in the course to help guide you. War experience should be part of this interview if appropriate, but make sure to avoid topics the veteran has stated are off limits.
An example is in the links