Eminent Practice Peer Interviews – the Reflection!

Peer interviews this year were much different compared to previous years. It was a strange experience having to talk to your classmates in such a professional setting. For one, we were paired with people who we aren’t as close with to interview. If I’m being honest, I had talked to my interview partner and group quite a lot before hand, so I wasn’t as nervous as I would’ve been. This did make it a bit stranger though because I was so used to talking to them in casual conversation, it felt strange to have to ask about their school and personal life. 

 Starting the interview, I didn’t feel very prepared either. I wish I could’ve thought a bit more about my questions beforehand. The questions that I prepared either felt too personal or too base level, so next time I want to take the time to really think about the questions I wanted to ask before. It also took my group a while to start our interviews. We didn’t really know how to start them and who was supposed to interview who. This resulted in us starting a bit late and running a bit late as well. There was also a problem with how we were all going to sit in the interview. Since there were four of us in the small, cramped area of the hallway, we took a bit to adjust and find the perfect seating arrangement. Eventually, we found that it was best if we faced our interview partners and had the ‘critique-er’ diagonally. This especially worked because we were able to see the other persons’ face and how they were responding to the questions (well, as much of their face that we could see).  

During the interviews, I found that I really much preferred being the one interviewed rather than the interviewer. This may be my narcissism talking, but it was so much more comfortable and easier to talk about something you definitely know about, yourself. When being interviewed by my partner, I tried to make it as comfortable for them. I answered the questions as directly as possible and would make small talk and small jokes too. My partners’ questions were really well articulated, and it made the interview process all the better. It was very strange to have to have a one-on-one conversation with someone and have two other people there watching and taking notes.  

When I was the one interviewing, I immediately felt more nervous. The pressure of having someone take notes on your performance, and someone answering the questions that you’re coming up with was something I had not felt before. When I was interviewing my partner, I sometimes felt like I was so worried about saying the wrong thing, pausing and stumbling over my words, or asking a dumb question that it was hard to focus on actually taking in what the person was saying. I remember focusing so hard on having a point that the person was saying that I could later inquire or expand upon, that I almost couldn’t hear the rest of what they were saying. I don’t think this was very good as the point of the interview is to take in the information that the person was saying. I also found that I would overdo some parts in an effort to show that I was listening. I would sometimes monopolize the conversation by talking and responding to the person so much that it felt more like a conversation than an interview. I think next time I should overall just calm down and chill before interviewing, as I do pretty stupid things when I’m nervous.  

When critiquing the interviews, I was able to gain a lot of knowledge just by watching them interact. I was watching my critique partner interview their partner, and I was able to notice what they could improve on and how that could also apply to my own interview skills. For example, I learned a lot about long winded and layered questions than I ever would have just listening to myself interview someone else. It was also very strange to have to listen in on a one sided conversation. I kept feeling like I should be contributing but then catching myself and remembering that it was in fact an interview. I definitely also was able to gain a lot of know-how just by critiquing someone else.  

The interviews in whole were a good experience I think. I felt a lot more confident in my interview skill afterwards and am less worried about interviewing a complete stranger. Plus, now I know a bit more about my fellow classmates!