Plan your questions in advance, and have more than you think you will need!
Take good notes or ask to record the conversation.
Tell your subject that you will be publishing this on the web after they have a chance to review it. Make sure that is ok with them, and choose a new subject if it is not.
Get the basic facts first (what they teach, what they studied in grad school, what they research now).
Ask if you can take a photo for the post. If they prefer not to be in the photo, see if you can take an alternative picture, like their office door or their classroom.
Ask them about their work.
Ask them about how they work with scholars outside of their field.
Ask them about how they work with non-academics in their professional life.
Ask them if they collaborate with anyone on their work, and if so what the benefits and challenges of that are.
Ask them if they do any interdisciplinary work.
Ask them what courses students who major in their department should consider taking OUTSIDE of that department.
Make up a few questions of your own to keep the conversation about interdisciplinarity going.
Write up the interview, adding an engaging intro and a summarizing conclusion. Explain what you think was inspiring, helpful, interesting, or exciting about what they had to say.
Send the draft to your subject and ask them to get back to you within a couple of days with any feedback or changes.
Publish the post on your website. Add hotlinks where appropriate (try to add at least one, to the faculty member’s PSU profile page). Add a photo. Add a Creative Commons license to the bottom of the post if you wish.
Log in the link to the post on our spreadsheet.
For examples of successful interview posts, see the section of our textbook called “Academics on Interdisciplinarity: Professors Talk with Students.”