How to Interview

How do I record an interview?

Use the guide below to help you prepare and conduct your interview.

Please be in touch at if you need support or if you have questions.

🛢 Materials list

1. questions list
2. phone or other audio recording device
3. interview release form downloaded from

🛢 Before the interview

1. Choose someone whose experiences and perspectives you would like to learn about, perhaps an older relative or family friend.
2. Plan a date and time for your interview.
3. Test your recording capabilities ahead of time. You can use your phone or a video call app.

🛢 During the interview

1. Make sure both people are in a quiet place when recording the interview.
2. Ask your questions and listen carefully to the responses. Allow time to think about answers; silence is okay!
3. You don’t have to ask all the questions and it’s okay to talk about things that are not on the questions list. Ask follow-up questions and encourage expanding upon answers.
4. At the end of the interview be sure to complete a signed copy of the release form.

🛢 After the interview

1. Give your files a clear title. Name your file with Last Name of Interviewer-Date Of Interview (eg. Tsai_12-Jan-2021)
2. Write a brief summary of what you talked about and select a few keywords that would give a person who hasn’t yet heard your interview an idea of what you discuss.

Interview Questions and Process

🎤 To begin

The interviewer should state the date, interview location, and interviewer’s name.

🗣 Introduction questions

1. What is your name and age?
2. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

✂️ Questions about textiles

1. What is your relationship to plant and animal textiles like silk, wool, cotton, and linen?
2. Tell me about the textiles your family used when you were growing up. What kind of household linens and clothing did you have? Where did they come from?
3. How have you seen textiles change since your childhood? What are the biggest reasons for those changes?
4. What is your relationship to synthetic textiles like nylon, rayon, polyester, spandex?

📀 Questions about plastics

1. Do you remember when you first started using plastic in addition to cloth, wood, metal, and other materials?
2. How have plastics changed your life?
3. Which plastics are you grateful for? Which plastics trouble you?

🔋 Questions about energy and fuel

1. When you were younger, where did the energy you used for heat, electricity and fuel come from?
2. When you were growing up, how did your family store and preserve food? Did you use a refrigerator? Did you have other methods?
3. How did you heat or cool your home when you were a child?
4. How have you seen the way we make and use energy change since your childhood?

⛈ Questions about climate

1. When was the first time you heard about climate change?
2. How has your understanding about climate change changed since then?
3. What ways have you seen climate change impact your community or the world?

🔮 Other questions

1. What are your hopes for how future generations will make and use materials?
2. What have you noticed about how COVID-19 is impacting our use of materials?

👋 To end

The interviewer may express their gratitude and allow time for open comments.
1. Do you have anything else you’d like to say?
2. Thank you!

Thank you for participating! After you upload, you will receive updates by email. All English-language recordings will be transcribed and you will receive a copy along with credits on this website. If your interview was conducted in a language other than English, we’d love to work with you to find an appropriate transcription service. 

Please contact if you have any questions.

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