The interviewing experience with Kelsey was a very interesting one. The first problem we encountered was finding a secluded place that was quiet enough for good sound quality, but also a comfortable setting for interviewing. When none of the study rooms in the library were available we settled with recording in my car.
Originally we had planned to send each other a list of the questions we would ask one another, but with the lack of time we had, we didn’t. I actually think it was good we weren’t able to because it would have sounded too rehearsed and not as natural.
Instead we asked each other which aspect of our lives we should focus on to talk about, and hit the record button.
I went ahead and recorded Kelsey first as she was more comfortable in front of the microphone. It was extremely awkward to interview her using an audio recorder. It was hard for me to feel engaged in the interview since I couldn’t say “uh-huh’s” or “yeah”, rather I had to use my non-verbals to show her I was interested.
At certain points I wanted to laugh because what she was saying was funny, but again, I had to keep all background noise to a minimum. I used head nods and eye contact as a way to show her I was engaged.
The interviewing process was also easy for me because Kelsey was able to give very detailed and descriptive answers to the questions I asked. Therefore, I only had to ask her questions relative to the topic of her career goals and life after college.
One thing that also made it uncomfortable was sitting still and not being able to move around. The audio was quick to pick up any background noise and it felt staged to not move the entire time.
On the flipside it was more comfortable being interviewed. I was a little nervous at first because I have a tendency to talk fast and can’t think on my feet, but it ended up working out. I had to remind myself that listeners wouldn’t be able to see my facial expressions or have visuals, so I had to give these through my voice.
I used emotion in my voice and was very descriptive so listeners could create a mental image of my life through my profile.
From my experience with audio recording I learned that it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. It is important to get the raw story first hand, knowing I could edit any awkward pauses or background noise later.
I also learned it is best for the interview to not be planned out word for word. People want to hear real stories, not something that has been practiced or rehearsed.
Another thing I learned is how important it is to find a quiet area to interview. The recorder can pick up little noises that can be detrimental to the entirety of the interview.
More importantly, I learned to keep the recorder in the same spot during the entire interview. I suggest setting the recorder on a ledge or a counter top, that way you can avoid distracting sounds and muffles.
Aside from the difficulties of this assignment, I really enjoyed learning more about Kelsey. On a personal level I was able to connect with her as she told me about her life. It was also fun to be in control of the conversation, I was able to direct the interview and ask the questions I thought would be interesting for other listeners.
I didn’t like however, that we had a time limit of five minutes. I wanted to ask more questions to get a full profile of Kelsey’s career goals, time didn’t allow for it.
After completing the raw part of this audio interview assignment, there is nothing I would go back and change. I am happy with the recording I collected and the quality of the sound. I am very excited to begin editing it and hope to add some ambient noise in the background for the finished product!