Too bad I didn’t read the interview section of Lindlof and Taylor’s book Qualitative Communication Research Methods and Terry Gross’ intro to All I Did Was Ask several weeks ago. The 13 interviews I did were for Nurses Week and the goal was to honor them on Facebook with a photo and their backstory. I would have taken a more research-oriented tack and added much needed personality; instead I routinely plunged in. What could have gone better:
1. I failed to ask one nurse when she decided to become one. She asked me, “Don’t you want to know?” It was a fun story of when she was 9 and it made all the difference in her life.
2. I mixed up two nurses when I posted their pictures and profiles because I failed to extract something, anything, that seemed interesting enough to make me remember them. Instead of becoming engrossed in the person and their story, I was interested in completing the task.
3. I didn’t ask for compelling stories. Instead I requested a gender, age, and experience differentiators. It’s the stories that make people interesting though, not where they went to school and how long they’ve been on the job.
Interviewing is an art and a science and interviewers can grow from each experience, thus subsequent interviews can be better. Next time I’ll do a little more research and ask more compelling questions so that when the vignettes are posted, the nurse are truly honored for their contribution to the patient care.