Professor Raymond Bingham
14 October 2015
Nervous Greetings and Eager Meetings
Well, at first I thought finding a professional would be difficult and annoying, especially given my social anxiety and slight xenophobia. As it turns out, I managed to find someone through none other than my old man. As he is one of the higher ups in the company known as Game Gear, he helped me find the perfect interviewee. The woman I interviewed was a sweet old woman by the name of Gwen Allen, a recent corporate hire, and currently works at Game Gear as an Executive Assistant.
While finding someone to interview was viewed as a challenge, and turned out not to be, actually meeting up was a smidgeon more complicated. I had a date and time for last week, but was only able to meet up today, due to the facts of Mrs. Allen having a surprise meeting the day we agreed to meet, as well as myself having another paper to write. Nonetheless, we both managed to meet up in her office, and we proceeded with the interview.
Backing up somewhat, let’s look at preparation of both myself and Mrs. Allen. I wrote up my questions a couple days beforehand, keeping them focused on the side of career history, and her opinions on the whole journey. To top it off, I spent the night before the interview calming my nerves, practicing my questions and body language. Mrs. Allen, to my surprise, decided to do some preparation herself, through a couple write-ups of what she thought I would ask her about.
The questions themselves weren’t too specific, but they all were gladly answered by Mrs. Allen. Listing them out for the sake of the assignment: What is your professional story? What job did you find easiest/most difficult? What level of education did it take to get you where you are? What skill have you found to be most useful? What job was your favorite? What are the best/worst bits of your current position? And to top it off, what is the one thing you would change about your career path? The good majority of the interview composed of two main topics that these questions skimmed: The career history of Mrs. Allen, and her opinions about the path she’s chosen. My reasoning in choosing the questions and topics for this interview was for both the length of the answers I was hoping to get, and more to the point, to get to know what kind of person Mrs. Allen really is.
Looking back on the interview, it was somewhat formal, and somewhat informal. It was formal in the sense that we scheduled a time to meet, and designated a place, namely her office; but it was informal in both the way we were dressed, and the way we came to know of each other. We were both wearing the main product of Game Gear, namely sportswear, rather than suits and ties. Neither of us took particular interest in attire, but both of us took interest in what the other had to ask/say.
The interview as a whole went well: I didn’t take too much of her time, I kept her interested in the interview through my more open-ended questions, and she kept my interest through what she had to say. She even offered to give me a tour of the factory, to which I accepted. The only flaw in this whole interviewing process was that I was too nervous at the beginning, though I soon relaxed as we commenced the meat of the meeting. If I could do this again, I would do better to calm my nerves; though that is something I’ll do in future interviews. Overall, I tend to interview best in a split informal/formal interview structure, and although I tend to be a Nervous Nelly, I’m good at asking questions and use good body language.
Thank You Card
When I first learned of this assignment, I was stricken with overwhelming feeling of annoyance. I had to find someone I’d never met, and interview them for however long I could hold their interest. This would’ve been worse had I gone through formal networking channels, such as Linkedin.com, but my old man gave me a helping hand, and granted me the opportunity to interview one of his subordinates.
If I’ve learned anything from this assignment, I’ve learned that I need to keep calm and carry on, as the old saying goes. Social skills have never been my strong suit, and anxiety has been something going on in my family for generations. Being that this is the first interview I’ve ever formally conducted, I’ll probably be able to approach future interview assignments that I may have in my college career with a level of confidence that I wouldn’t have without this experience.
Being a mass communications major, I most likely will have to conduct more interviews, and this experience will be something I can use as somewhat of a template for said interviews. I’ll have to improve upon my anxiety in the future, but I still wish to pursue this major, come rain or dry. I’d also have to improve my networking skills, because I may not always have family or friends to help me find someone for something. Luckily the internet is a vast and intertwined place that can help anyone find anything for just the right amount of effort. Going beyond my education, these interviewing skills will help me to become a better journalist than I could hope to be otherwise.
More answers to more questions: Why I chose who to interview and what pre-research did I do. I wasn’t all that picky, and being that bringing this assignment up in a 10 minute conversation with my dad was all it took for someone to pop into his head; I just went with the motions. As for the research, there wasn’t too much of that either, in that I had no interest in the field of dealing cloth, nor was Mrs. Allen’s position all that detailed: It just involved ordering fabrics, organizing said fabrics, and other things of that nature.
Moving on, towards the aspects of why being able to interview is important is rather simple: It’s like having a professional conversation, instead of a casual one, with the interviewee as the main focus. One needs to be able to converse in a professional manner in order to get anywhere worthwhile. If I could offer advice to a junior in my field should I become an experienced veteran in said field, I’d say two things: First, use the internet, you can find anything and anyone that you need or want. Second, keep your eyes on the target, and your voice in the moment. This is speaking of interviews mainly, and to a lesser extent day-to-day life, and the first part is rather clear. The latter is means that you should always show emotion in action, in word, and in thought. Because really, who wants to talk to someone with a personality as flaccid as silly putty?