Peer Interview Reflection

In this blog post, I will be reflecting on a peer interview exercise we conducted a few days ago.

In this exercise, we were asked to come up with 10 questions to ask one of our classmates. I was interviewing Jordan and vice versa. I found the general process of interviewing to be fairly straightforward, as my job was simply to ask questions to my peer and to seem approachable. I learned that to interview someone, you need to be friendly, approachable (as mentioned), and to come off as a generally kind person. However, since I was already acquainted with Jordan, I think that that might have helped with not being nervous in the interview. I believe that when the time comes for me to interview someone regarding my Eminent person (Dmitri Shostakovich), that experience may be a little bit more awkward since we will not have known each other beforehand.

I will not write much about being interviewed, since I believe the purpose of this exercise to be to interview others when the time comes for me and our classmates to interview our respective people who know about our Eminent people. However, I will mention that being interviewed was not that much of a challenge, as I simply had to give somewhat detailed yet concise answers to the questions that were presented to me.

I believe that when interviewing the person who knows about my Eminent person, it will be a bit awkward as I am not interviewing that person for themselves, but rather someone they know of. However, I think that for someone who would be devoting their life’s work to preserving that person’s work would be a somewhat less awkward experience since they should be more willing to share information about that person.

When coming up with questions to ask my interviewee, I had to think about both what they would know, what they would be comfortable sharing, and what would be informative/useful information to me and my project. For example, when interviewing someone about Shostakovich, I could ask if they had any insight on his personal life in his most difficult moments, such as the middle of the great purge, or the stress that he might have felt when Stalin watched his opera, Hamlet.

Overall, I found the experience of interviewing my peer to actually be a bit educational, as I learned about how to come up with questions that are well suited towards the person I am interviewing, as well as how to actually say the questions in such a way that comes off as approachable.