Welcome to the forum.
For this sort of work, I use Adobe Audition and process an Envelope for the interviewee in each response. Soundbooth should work well too.
Now, I am less a fan of Normalize, as there can be issues, but this might be a good time to try that Audio Effect. In CS4, Normalize has gotten a lot smarter, so it might be all that you need and you might not have to go to Soundbooth/Audition.
PS - this is a good place to use an external boom mic, or lavs on each person. Also, watch out when you boost the interviewee's responses, as any ambient noise will also be amplified. In these cases, I use the Effect>Restoration in Audition to eliminate some of the ambient noise - monitor this process closely, as human speech can get a bit "tinny" and you can get a hint of an echo, if you overdo it.
Hi lindsaydl, how's it going?
What the Wine Snob said is correct, but if you'd like to adjust the audio levels inside of Premiere all you need to do is add keyframes.
To do this, expand the audio track you want to adjust by clicking the little triangle just to the left of the track name. This will open up the track for editing. You can make the track taller, by pulling the bottom of it, just under the track title, down. Now, you just place your cursor over where you would like to add a keyframe, hold down the control button, and click on the yellow line. This will add a keyframe that you can pull up to make the volume louder, or down to lower it.
Use multiple keyframes to fade in/out, or you could also just cut the clip into pieces and adjust the volume of the separate pieces. I actually prefer working this way, myself, because if I decide to make an additional change, I don't have to go back to Soundbooth or another app to make adjustments. Although, one thing that I do is to clean up recorded dialogue before bringing it into Premiere in the first place. I usually do this in GoldWave or sometimes in Audacity.
Hope that helps.
I agree about the use of manual Keyframes to "ride gain," and also use the Audio Mixer to automate the Keyframes at a Track level. Unfortunately, I realized that I had missed mention of Audio Mixer (you'll want to change the Send to Write, or Touch), but I was in a meeting, when I thought of it, and it was not until now that I could get back to this thread.
One caveat on Audio Mixer is that it IS at a Track level. If you then edit your Clips, those Keyframes are on the Track and NOT on the Clips, so those changes will then be in place for the changed Clips. Just a little "warning."
As for your working on the Audio before Import is a good one. Depending on how the Audio was recorded, I will often do the same, prior to Import, though with Audition, as it's my Audio program of choice.
Good comments and tips,