you're not done yet
Once the interview has concluded and you've taken your leave, you're not quite finished. Here's a checklist of things to do after the interview:
Check your recording. Did everything work properly? Can you hear and easily understand the interviewee? (If not, if it'll take some deciphering, then move to the transcription immediately while the experience and what was discussed is still fresh in your head.)
Back up your recording. If it's digital, back it up. Copy it to another drive, or just email it to yourself. There is no such thing as being too worried about this.
Make your own notes. This is a crucial step, particularly in social-science interviewing. While the experience is still fresh on your mind, sit down for at least 15 minutes (ideally 30) and make notes about everything that's not on the recording. Plumb the depths of your sensory information and record everything you can remember.
Some things to ask yourself: What was the interviewee wearing? What was in the room? How comfortable did you feel? How comfortable did the interviewee seem? Why? What objects were on the table, on the desk, in the room? What caused any interruptions? What were the interviewee's mannerisms? Describe the body language. etc. etc. etc.
Do not underestimate the importance of not only capturing this information but doing so within the first hour after you leave the interview site. Sensory information can be crucial later when writing up the story/data. The connection between something the person said and something he/she did might come to you later, but you're out of luck if you can't remember all the details by then.
Within a day or two
Send a thank-you. Drop your interview an email to thank them again for their valuable time. mention that you got a great deal out of the conversation. If needed, verify the time and location of the next session.
Verify information gathered. Check spellings of proper names mentioned in the interview. Double-check the accuracy of any information given — names, titles, figures, locations, etc.
Conduct more research. Do another round based on both (a) verifying and expanding the data discussed above and (b) preparing for the next interview sessions based on the broader informational foundation you now have.
Ask clarifying questions. If needed, reach out to your interviewee again with any lingering questions that remain, whether merely verifying data for accuracy or tightening up your understanding of certain concepts.
Talk to us! Your professor and TAs are standing by, ready to assist with any questions about the interview, help you reformulate a plan for your second session, or manage any emerging crises.