To practice for our eminent person interviews, I interviewed a classmate about their life and their experiences in Talons. The interview went fairly smoothly, but based on the feedback I got, there are several improvements I could make.
At first, I was a little unprepared for the interview and I was quite nervous when trying to engage in conversation. However, I found it much easier to talk once I started off the interview by getting to know Clara better. I think it would be a good idea to start off the real interview like this as well. Nonetheless, I still think I need to get much more experience interviewing people to make the process more natural. My parents are a great choice for practicing my interviewing skills because they will probably be willing to be my interviewee and there is no risk in interviewing them. To add variety to my interviewees, I may also try interviewing some of my classmates again if I still need more practice.
Another problem I had during the interview was my unpreparedness. Although most of my questions were strong and had purpose, some of them were quite unnecessary or poorly timed because I was desperately trying to ask all ten of my prepared questions. I will definitely try to prepare at least 15-20 questions for the real interview so that I can have more flexibility with my choice of questions, and I won’t have to ask all of them. I can even prepare follow-up questions for expected responses to help guide the interview, so the questions follow a logical order. Hopefully, this will make it more comfortable for the interviewee. It will also allow me to ask deeper questions and obtain information that I cannot get anywhere else.
Even though the interview went well, I don’t feel very satisfied with the information that I obtained. I didn’t really have much intention or goals in mind heading into the interview, which I can improve on. If I go into the real interview with an idea of the specific information I want to obtain from the interview, I will be able to keep my questions more relevant and avoid wasting the interviewee’s time on unnecessary questions.
The last improvement I could make is to speak more loudly and clear, as well as keep better eye contact instead of looking at my notes the whole time. As an interviewee, it seems much more like a waste of your time if the interviewer talks in a monotone voice and doesn’t seem to care about the interview very much. As I practice interviewing my parents, I will pay special attention to the way I speak, and I think I will naturally get better at it.
Interviewing my classmate was not nearly as stressful as the real interview will be, but I feel it was an important experience that helped me determine my strengths and weaknesses that I need to work on. I hope that with some changes, my eminent person interview will go even smoother than my practice one.
Thanks for reading!