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Conducting an interview

In this video, new researchers practice conducting an interview. They reflect on a video playback of the interview and then make a second attempt.

Watch the researchers practice and reflect on their interview. The video features Ivy Tanzila, citizen scientist, East London, Fatima Uddin, citizen scientist, East London, Cinderella Al Homsi, research assistant, UCL RELIEF Centre and Mustafa Ismail, MA student, UCL Institute of Education. We recommend watching the videos with English subtitles as they contain both English and Arabic.

After the researchers have practiced the interview, they watch it back and reflect on what was effective or could be improved. Then they repeat the interview – how have they tried to improve the second time?


Using the interview questions you developed in the last step, practice an interview with a friend, family member or colleague.

As you plan this, consider also the best way of recording the interview. Most researchers will use a digital recorder to capture the interview (you could use your phone, for example). If you decide to do this, it is important to ask the participants involved for their consent first – something we will discuss in week 3.


  • Which of your questions was most effective in eliciting meaningful responses?
  • Which of your questions was least effective in eliciting meaningful responses?
  • How could you improve the questions and your approach?

Note your responses to these questions in your Research Notebook

Over to you

Share your reflections in the discussion focusing on what you think worked well and what could be improved. Respond to others’ comments, noting how their responses could be turned into useful advice for novice researchers conducting an interview.

What is the best way to make sure that the recording does not fail? Should you have a back-up plan? If you have experience of recording an interview, provide some tips for other researchers.

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