Below are guidelines I created for my shadow class, along with my counterpart, Kyra.


In line with ENGL 1102 objectives to “analyze sources by critically reading, annotating, engaging, comparing, and drawing implications,” “compose a rhetorically-situated, researched text that enters an ongoing conversation, integrating relevant sources,” you will conduct an interview with someone in your field about how to set yourself apart in your desired profession.


  • Developing and asking insightful questions
  • Demonstrating professional conduct both in written and oral form
  • Collecting and analyzing primary data


  • General knowledge about desired career field
  • Knowledge of composing insightful and engaging questions
  • Understanding of primary sources


For this assignment, you will be conducting an interview with a person who works in your field of interest. The objective of this interview is to learn, from a primary source, the overarching question “how do I set myself a part in this field?” You will be tasked with identifying your interview candidate and reaching out to them via e-mail requesting an interview.

Along with your group members, you will compile a list of no more than five (5) questions pertaining to the overarching question stated above. You will then conduct a collaborative interview with your candidate. Remember that your interview is meant to seek information to help you stand out in the field, not information about the field itself.

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At the end of the interview, you will transcribe the entire interview, and send a thank you note to your interviewee for taking the time to meet with you.

More details on all of these tasks are listed out below.


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  1. Select a candidate to interview. Dr. Livingston will be providing you with a candidate to reach out to. However, if you know someone in the field you would like to interview, you may request permission from Dr. Livingston to interview that person instead.
  2. E-mail your candidate requesting an interview. Your e-mail should include the following components:
    -Introduce yourselves. State who you are, where you go to school, and what you are studying.
    -Explain what you are doing. (In other words, what are you researching – see above overarching question.
    -Request a virtual interview, either over Zoom or a similar program, to meet with the person.
    -Propose at least three (3) potential times to meet, allowing the candidate to propose another time if those times do not work. (Remember, this is for your benefit, not theirs, so accommodate to them)
         **If the candidate would prefer to meet over e-mail, that is fine, but do not request an e-mail interview, let them propose that.
    -State that the interview will be recorded for academic purposes (You need to record it in order to transcribe it)
    -Thank the candidate for their time.
    -Maintain a polite and professional tone throughout. Remember that your audience is a potential peer in your field. This is a chance to start making connections!
    -Copy Dr. Livingston, Mr. Bomely, and Ms. Hammond on all e-mail communication.
  3. Within your group, begin to compile information and questions you would like to answer. If possible, you may want to look up the person you are interviewing to gather some background information on them. It should be clear to the interviewee that you have given this some thought prior to meeting with them.
  4. Within your group, come up with no more than five (5) interview questions to ask during your interview. Your questions should:
    -Be open-ended and thought-provoking questions. In other words, the interviewee should not be able to answer your question in 10 words or less.
    -Be related to the main over-arching question of standing out in the field,
    -NOT be questions that you could find on your own. (Such as “What degree do I need?”)
    -Include the potential for follow-up or clarifying questions as needed.
  5. Submit your five questions to Dr. Livingston for approval by (TBD). You should probably have at least two (2) back-up questions to submit as well, in the event that one of your questions is rejected.
  6. Conduct your interview. During your interview, be mindful of the following things:
    All group members should be active and engaged in the interview. This means everyone should be participating and asking questions. If the interview is over Zoom or the like, your cameras should be on (if possible) and you should appear sitting up right and engaged.
         **Remember that this interview is a chance to make connections, but you are also representing yourself, your school, and Dr. Livingston.
    -Take a moment to get acquainted, and thank your interviewee again for meeting with you.
    -Follow your interview questions. Remember this is still a collaborative interview, so there may be follow-up questions and clarifying questions, and that’s okay. The interview should feel more like a conversation then sticking to strictly the five questions you have.
    -Record your interview! Remember that you will need to transcribe the interview, and you need to be able to use the recording to that.
        **It is extremely important that your interviewee know ahead of time that you are recording the interview and why. Never, ever record someone without their consent and knowledge.
    -Take notes during the interview. You should be jotting down ideas, key words, and potential follow-up questions. You do not need to write down every thing your interviewee says right now, as that will be done in the transcription.
         **Your notes should be taken either on pen and paper or typed on the computer as you are speaking. Please do not have your cell phone out for any reason during the interview.
    -Aim to have your interview last approximately 30 minutes. If you go over because you are engaged in a conversation, that is okay. Do not cut off your interviewee, but also be mindful of their time. If they say they have to cut it off at 30 minutes, do not try to detain them.
    -At the conclusion of the interview, be sure to thank the interviewee again for their time!
  7. Transcribe your interview. Be mindful of the following things:
    -You must transcribe the entire interview. This includes pauses, ums, anything that is said. (You are not being graded on the grammatical correctness of this transcription. Pauses and “ums” are a natural part of a conversation, though they shouldn’t be excessive.)
    -You are free to transcribe the interview within your group however you see fit. (Meaning one person can transcribe the whole thing or you can break it up.) But the transcription should all be formatted in the same way and easy to read.
  8. Compose and send a thank you note to your interviewee. The thank you note should reference something specific that was said or learned in the interview to avoid sounding generic and establish comprehension, and should again acknowledge that this person took time out of their day to talk to you. Please remember to copy Dr. Livingston, Mr. Bomely, and Ms. Hammond on all e-mails.

Criteria for Success

In order to successfully complete this assignment, students should:

  • Ensure the professors are aware of all written correspondence between themselves and their interviewee.
  • Have five (5) thoughtful and insightful questions that adhere to the overarching goal.
  • Present a complete and detailed transcription of the interview that demonstrates that they had an engaging and collaborative discussion with their interviewee in a professional manner.

Compose a thoughtful thank you note that shows gratitude for the interviewee’s participation in the interview