Interview Prep

About the actual interview

  • Interviews generally last about 45 minutes, which I then cut down to approximately 20-30 minutes.
  • It’s a podcast, not a live show. That means I can edit out mistakes, so relax!
  • I approach most of my interviews as conversations rather than just a Q&A. That means there’s no need to over-prepare. Ideally a listener should feel like they’re sitting in the backseat of a car, listening to a really interesting discussion between the driver and the front-seat passenger.
  • I want people to hear about anthropology from anthropologists. I think most people’s perception of anthropology (if they think about it at all) is of stuffy, old men sitting around in a dusty museum or of Indiana Jones — neither of which is a good reflection of reality. I want to use this podcast to help humanize the discipline and encourage people to learn more about how anthropology affects them in their daily lives.

Skype or Zoom interviews

If I can’t come to you, we’ll arrange either a Skype or Zoom interview, whichever you prefer.

Once it’s time for the interview, here’s what you need to know:

  • Set up your computer somewhere quiet, ideally with a door that you can close and a solid internet connection.
  • In order to maintain higher audio quality, we won’t do any video.
  • If at all possible, use a mic and some headphones. This doesn’t have to be fancy. Any kind of headphones with a built-in mic will do, but feel free to use something nice if you have it. Have a spare pair just in case.
  • If you don’t have a mic, please still use headphones. Make sure you stay close to your computer. Try not to vary your distance so that your volume stays consistent.

General questions

I’m pretty flexible on what we talk about. Here’s a list of questions that I ask most folks. This is kind of a mix-and-match situation, but a lot of it comes up naturally over the course of the conversation.

  1. What’s your name?
  2. What’s your current job title?
  3. What’s your specific area of research?
  4. How would you explain what you do to a freshman college student? How would you convince them that what you do is important?
  5. Questions about your projects:
    • What project have you been most interested in?
    • What project has had the most impactful results?
  6. What does your work mean for the average person? What can they take away from it to use in their daily lives?
  7. What are some of the philosophical underpinnings of your work that a person needs to understand to contextualize your findings?
  8. Any advice for someone interested in working in this field?
  9. What do you think the future of the field is?

Besides name and title, these are the only non-negotiable questions I ask everyone:

  1. What are you reading for work right now? 
  2. What are you reading for pleasure? 
  3. What’s one thing people can read to learn more about your field of study?

Specific questions

Before I interview you, I’ll send over the specific themes based on your work that I’d like to discuss. We’ll chat ahead of time to make sure you feel ready to tackle this section.

Schedule an interview

Use my contact page to email me. I’ll be in touch as soon as possible.