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            Conducting the Information Interview

Module 1: Determining the purpose

2 people talking about purpose

Stage 1: Determining the purpose.

The purpose provides the foundation for the interview. In an ideal situation, the interviewer and interviewee share a common purpose, or have different purposes that can both be achieved in the interview.

As the interviewer, you need to identify why you are conducting the interview(s) and what form the final product will take. Because the interview is a cooperative interaction, you must phrase the purpose so that others, such as your interviewees, can understand it.

In determining the purpose of the interview, ask yourself two questions:

  1. Why am I conducting interviews rather than gathering information from other sources?

  2. What is the end product of this project?

Before you begin your research, Stage 2 in the information interview process, you want to have a clear idea of why you're conducting the interview and what you plan to do with the information.

When participating in the interview, both the interviewer and interviewee share the responsibility for clarifying the interview's purpose. Although in the information interview the initial task of determining the purpose falls to the interviewer, the interviewee plays a role in the process.

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