Tips for a Successful Interview Post

  • 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.”