Client Interview : Course Scholars


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In this project, you’ll hone your interview skills and gain insight into the goals and challenges of professionals. Interview someone who is a leader in a non-profit organization, the owner or manager of a business, or a professional in any field that interests you.

You’ll determine the questions to ask, you’ll conduct the interview, and you’ll write a report that presents information and recommendations to your readers.

This project includes these deliverables:

• Pre-interview memo including interviewee information and 2 Annotated Citations for “backgrounder” articles

• Interview Report (preliminary draft and final draft)

Contact the interview subject early (read: NOW) in the semester and schedule the interview. When contacting the person, you could say something like this: “I wonder if you would be willing to help me with a class project. I need to interview someone about the problems and challenges of people in your job role/business/nonprofit field. I would like to have a maximum of __-minutes to interview you via zoom or over the phone. The content will be used only for my class project and won’t be published anywhere. It would really be helpful to me if you could spare the time 6/6 – 6/8. Are you available for an interview?”

Note: You must conduct the interview by phone/video conferencing. Emailed or texted interview questions often result in short, fragmented answers and will not provide the quality of content required for this report.


A researcher who wants to identify the top concerns and challenges of people in the same situation as the interviewee, for the purpose of identifying research priorities


The reader is looking for information about the top concerns and challenges of people in the same situation as the interviewee. Your position statement will be something like “my interview with ________ suggest several important topics for further research.” Your goal is to explain these topics and their significance, to help the reader to determine research priorities.


750 words minimum plus Works Cited

Suggested Questions for the Interview

Before you conduct the interview, determine what types of information you would like from your subject. Your goal is to learn more about your

profession and/or workplace communication, so use the questions below to help guide this preparation.

Note: You may find that some of the answers are not interesting and therefore might not make it into your final report. Plan on collecting more information than you will integrate into the final report.

• What are your top goals for this quarter or this year? Why are those goals important to you?

• How do you measure success?

• When you think about challenges in your position/business/organization, are they mostly related to people… or resources… or technology… or other types of issues?

• What is the top challenge affecting you or your team right now?

• If you could magically make one big change to improve your workplace/business/organization right now–no limits, anything at all–what would it be?

• When you think about general trends in society/business/technology right now, what kinds of issues are having the biggest impact on your type of business/organization?

• When you think about technology, what kinds of problems, challenges, or goals do you have right now?

• Are there any new trends in technology that could be really useful in your position/business/organization?

• If you could do a survey of any group of people, who would you want to survey and how would that information help you? (If they mention something that’s interesting to you, tell them–“Later this semester, I have to do a survey project, so this could be something I could work on for you.”)

• * If you had time to go get expert advice about any issue, concern, new trend right now, what topics would you want to research? (If they mention something that’s interesting to you, tell them–“Later this semester, I have to do a research project, so this could be something that I could work on for you.”)

Structure and Content

Include these elements (as described in the Spence book):

• Opening Statement: Present essential information about the interviewee (title, place of work, years in position, etc.) and state your Position

• Methodology: Briefly describe your methods for conducting your interview (length of interview, place of interview, etc.)

• Essential Background: Background information about the job role, business, or nonprofit, to contextualize the discussion for a reader who might not be familiar with this subject matter.

• Issues and Conclusions: Develop and support your position, presenting key topics from your interview and explaining why further research is needed.

• Closing statement/call to action: A short discussion of next steps.

Required Sources

The Essential Background section must include information from at least 1 credible source that was published in the last five years.

• Institutional authors are acceptable if they are highly credible to your intended audience.

• If you wish, you also can use additional sources that are older or that do not have named authors.

• You can use articles, books, videos, webinars, etc., from academic or professional sources. To determine the credibility of sources, search the Internet to determine the credentials of the author(s) relevant to this subject.

• Your paper must include a Works Cited List with proper APA citations for all sources that you use.

• Properly cite everything that comes from a source. Follow the best practice of paraphrasing and synthesizing information rather than stringing together quotes. Review the syllabus for information about academic integrity and plagiarism.


The report will be created in Word using a professional design that conveys professionalism. The text will be a readable size. Headings, sub-headings, figure captions, bullets, tables, etc., will be used to ensure a readable and professional design. The Works Cited list will be properly formatted, as discussed in class. Do not use a template.

Grading Criteria


Everything in the report supports the purpose stated in the intro, and it is consistent with the assignment scenario. For full points, it consistently focuses on a clearly stated position and the purpose of helping the specified audience to understand and use this information.


Descriptive details, examples, explanations, etc., are used to develop the information and the recommendations; there is no redundant or extraneous information. For full points, the document is full of attention-getting and memorable details and as a result is useful, relevant, and actionable. It meets all requirements for sources, which are synthesized and properly cited.


The report follows the required structure. It presents the content in well-structured paragraphs and uses transitional phrases to create smooth flow. For full points, it presents information in a manner that

makes it easy for the reader to find, use, and understand the information.

Professional Ethos

The tone is conversational yet professional and serious. The language is characterized by active voice, concise sentences, and correct grammar/spelling/word choice. There are no $20 words and phrases and no wordiness. For full points, the report conveys the information with a strong sense of professionalism and accountability.

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