Community Cooperation in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Interviewer Guide
For students doing paid interviewing with our research team

(Interviewing is now closed)


Note, before interviewing

This guide is intended only for LSU students we have trained and asked to conduct interviews. It is a set of reminders based on our training with you. It should not be used as a stand-alone guide without first doing the training with us.

If we have not trained you and asked you to conduct interviews, please do not conduct interviews on our behalf.

We are still updating some sections of this page. Please watch for email updates from us, and check back to this page just before you do your interviews.

  • Background materials
  • General instructions
    • Welcome! We are doing interviews about life in the age of the coronavirus. As you have learned in your training (or will learn), we are doing in-depth, extended interviews, which should last 30-60 minutes each, or longer if you have enough to talk about.
    • These are not yes/no interviews! You should ask follow-up questions and encourage your interviewee to expand on what they tell you, and give you stories or examples. We are looking for depth and richness in the interviews.
    • We will ask you to submit a list of people you would like to interview. The list does not have to include names, but it must list the interviewees' age, gender, race/ethnicity, occupation, and city/state of residence. You can interview people you know, including friends and family.
    • Do not conduct any interview unless/until we give you a go-ahead. We will give approval for each interview, so get our approval for each interview you want to do.
    • At the beginning of each interview, you need to record a few basic facts about the interviewee, including age, gender, race/ethnicity, occupation and employment status, household composition (alone, or who else is in the household), and city/state location.
    • Do not interview anyone below the age of 18.
    • Please try to get some diversity in your interviews by gender and age. You should include both men and women, as well as at least one person under age 30 and at least one person over age 60. You do not have to have diversity by income or race.
    • Please use the interview protocol, here, as a jumping off point for what you talk about. Try to cover most of the points on the interview protocol, but you can also go beyond them if you think of things that are relevant.
    • Instructions for recording the interview are below.
    • We will offer you the opportunity to transcribe your interviews (for pay). We will give you information about transcribing in training.

  • Informed consent
    • Before beginning, tell your interviewee you want to record their permission. If they agree, begin recording.
    • You must record yourself reading the script and the interviewee's answers.
    • Use the informed consent script, here, before you proceed with your interviews. This is required by the University (the Institutional Review Board, IRB) for all such research.
    • Besides recording, write down their answers to each of the questions in the script.

  • Recording the interview
    • Recording the interview is a requirement; we need the recordings. If your interviewee doesn't agree to let you record, stop here. You'll need to find another interviewee who allows this.
    • The interviewee can remain anonymous, and we're not going to use any video, but we need a recording so we can make a transcript to analyze.

    • We ask you to record all interviews on Zoom, and we will show you how in our training session.
    • You should do a short test session to make sure you can record and access the recording.
    • Download and install Zoom, if necessary.
    • Instructions for recording:
      • Open in your browser.
      • Click Login.
      • Click "Meetings" on the left side of the screen, and click, "Schedule a New Meeting." Fill in the options you want, and click "Save."
      • On the next screen, click "Copy Invitation." And on the next screen, click "Copy Meeting Invitation." Paste that into an email and send it to your interviewee, so they have a link to your interview meeting.
      • When the time comes for your interview, go to "Meetings" and click "Start" on the meeting you set up.
      • When your Zoom session starts and your interviewee is in the meeting, hit Record.
      • Hit "Record to the Cloud."
      • You should hear "The Meeting is being Recorded."
      • When you finish the interview click the stop-recording button. You should hear "The recording has stopped."
      • Hit "End" in the lower right to finish your Zoom session.
      • You will get an e-mail notification from Zoom when the recording files are completed. You might receive 2 emails. These emails will have links to your recordings and a transcript.
      • Do two things:
        1. Your Zoom email will have a link that says, "Share recording with viewers," or "To share the recording with the integrated audio transcript." Copy that link and email it to Oliver Garretson at
        2. Also forward the Zoom emails (both of them, if there are two) to Oliver Garretson at
      • You need to send these emails right away, because the recordings might automatically be deleted after a short period of time.
    • Also - Make a back-up recording of your Zoom session on your smart phone, just in case there are any technical problems with your Zoom recording. Keep and do not delete your smart phone recording file until we tell you it is okay to do so.
    • Note: You can use Zoom for in-person interviews. Just have your device next to you and use Zoom to record the interview.
    • We have recorded two short instructional videos to remind you of how to do all this.
  • Transcribing
    • Paid transcribing work is available.
    • We will train you for this separately.
    • If you want to transcribe your own interviews, let us know, and this may be possible.

  • After the Interview
    • Fill out an Interviewee Information Template for each interview you conduct.
    • Do this immediately after you finish each interview, while it is all still fresh in your mind.
    • Put your name at the top of the Template
    • Fill in the other blanks of the Template. We will use some of this information so we can match up your comments with the media file.
    • On the second page of the Template, write down a short list of highlights from the interview. We are especially interested in:
      • New ways people try to help and support each other when they can't easily come together in person,
      • What organizations or institutions are helping them, or they are supporting (church, government, nonprofit, etc),
      • How people are trying to stay safe,
      • Whether people have to choose between staying safe and keeping a job (do they have to take a job that exposes them to the virus),
      • What people are doing as the lockdown eases and things open up,
      • People's feelings and general mood.
    • Save each Template, using "Save As," renaming the file as: Your name, Date of Interview YYMMDD, Time of Day of Interview.
      • So you might name it "Mike Tiger 200615 0230pm.docx"
    • Email your Templates to Oliver Garretson at immediately after each interview.

  • Thanks and have a great time interviewing! It's important work, and it can be very moving.

  • If you have questions, please contact Oliver Garretson at

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are Copyright 1998-2020 by Frederick Weil; all rights reserved.