- You will go out into the field and interview a professional with a background in or career in psychology or in your major
- Ask the individual ALL of the mandatory questions below and at least FIVE of the suggested questions below. Then, generate TWO of your own questions and ask them of your interviewee.
- Write a brief, informal report of this interview. Include the answers to the questions you obtained from the interview AND include answers to the summary questions given below (these will require you to reflect on your perception of the interview).
- You can conduct the interview in-person, via remote video chat, through email, or through some other communication medium. However, keep in mind that interviews via email are not usually informative.
Mandatory Questions – you must ask the individual ALL of these questions
- What is your name?
- What is your title and where do you work?
- What is your highest earned degree?
- How long were you in school to obtain this degree?
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how much of your job is directly related to principles you learned as a psychology major? (Ask the interviewee to be specific in this response).
- What is the biggest challenge associated with your job?
- What do you like MOST about your job?
- If you attended graduate school, please rate the difficulty of the experience on a scale of 1 to 5 (Ask the interviewee to be specific in this response. The goal here is to get information about whether graduate school is for you).
- If you’re interviewing a therapist, counselor, or social worker: What were the specific certifications you needed to do your job BEYOND earning your degree?
Suggested Questions – you must ask the individual as least FIVE of these questions
- If you went to graduate school, what was your undergraduate GPA?
- Did you end up in the career you intended to when you were getting your degree?
- If you could “redo” your college career, would you have psychology as your major?
- How long have you been working in this field?
- If you’re interviewing a therapist, counselor, or social worker: Do you find yourself having trouble detaching from your patients? When do you know that your caseload is too high?
- Do you have any advice for someone getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology?
YOUR Questions – you must ask the individual at least TWO questions that you generate on your own
- Question 1
- Question 2
Summary Questions – to be answered by you in your write-up of the interview; you must answer ALL of these questions
- Did this interview make you more or less likely to continue down your intended career path? Be thoughtful and thorough in your answer.
- Did this interview change your perception of graduate school? Did it make you more confident about going or less confident?
- What did you learn in the interview? Do NOT say “nothing.”
- Link this interview to at least one other topic you’ve learned in this course this semester. Be specific and clear in your response.
Grading and Evaluation
- This assignment is worth 20% of your grade in the course
- Your grade will be based on
- Following directions (asking all of the mandatory questions, at least FIVE of the suggested questions, two of your own questions, and all of the summary questions)
- The thoughtfulness of your write-up, especially in the summary section. Be specific and think about the questions you’re being asked.
- Overall presentation of the write-up (grammar, formatting, etc.)
- The timeliness of your submission (turning it in by the due date); you will receive a 5% deduction for each day the assignment is submitted late and assignments received more than 7 days past the due date will not be accepted.
Tips for Contacting Professionals
- Start with people you know (parents, friends, former teachers). If they aren’t working in this discipline, there’s a good chance they know someone who is. It’s a very broad field.
- If you do not know this person on a personal level, please be courteous when you attempt to contact them.
- In an email, state your name, what you’re trying to accomplish, and an estimate of how much of their time this will take (about 20 minutes). Also include your own contact information.
- Use full sentences, correct grammar, and proofread any correspondence you have with your potential interviewee. People like to do favors for people who take the time to engage in professional correspondence.
- Remember, they’re doing YOU the favor.
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