Response to In-Class Interviews

Note something that has interested, surprised, delighted, bewildered, angered, frustrated, etc. you about the interview process as you’ve experienced it so far.

I think our practice in-class interviews create a situation which will be quite different from the “real thing”.  On the one hand, they seem easier because it is a controlled environment: Professor Knight can remind you of things you’ve forgotten to do, you can laugh with classmates over something awkward or funny, and, perhaps most importantly, the interviewee has done interviews before and is very willing to participate.  All of these factors make the in-class interview run a bit more smoothly than I anticipate my own interviews going.  On the other hand, the in-class interviews could also be more intimidating than doing interviews on your own: the whole class is watching, many people have already done their interviews, Professor Knight is watching, the interviewee knows a good interviewer from a not so-good interviewer… I do not consider myself a shy person in most scenarios, but situations like these certainly make my palms sweaty.  I’ve never been the sort of person to go out of my way to talk to strangers or strike up random conversations–For me, then, it seems that asking someone to interview with me will be the most difficult part.  With these practice interviews, I do not have to worry about asking someone to talk to me.  In general, I think these interviews are great for practice with the equipment, the deed of gift, and a basic interview set-up, but I think the dynamics will shift in unpredictable ways when we get into the “real thing”.

1 Response to “Response to In-Class Interviews”


  1. 1 iaknig February 25, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Absolutely. Hopefully your peer interviews will feel a bit more “real.” And you are right that often the initial call to ask someone for an interview can be the toughest step. But that is something I can help with, too–so we’ll get through it!

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The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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