Blog Post #5: Barriers to a successful interviewer

I’m so worried about the upcoming interview. I really am.

I make a good listener. I don’t know if I should feel happy about that since I’m stuck with having to listen to all kinds of people’s stories all the time, as I pay attention and make people feel like I care. But now the profile assignment is coming close, and I still don’t have enough confidence when thinking about interviewing someone.

I tend to immerse myself deeply in the stories being told, and got carried along with every progress of the storyline. That would be useful only if I’m acting as a trash bin for people to throw in their depressingly miserable stuff. But if I’m actively seeking for the materials to write someone’s story, it’s just a huge disadvantage. Because an interviewer’s job is not only to get the guest to open up but also to control the conversation and drive it in the wanted direction. I’m more of a follower than a leader: always too reluctant to interrupt a rambling topic, and too afraid to clarify a confusing point in the person’s answer.

I don’t mind doing the background research nor choosing a topic to focus on. The preparing step never troubles me. But to me, facing the person is the most difficult part. One of the success keys in dealing with interviewees is prepared questions and unprepared follow-up questions (Casel, 2013). Keeping up with the narrative, and at the same time brainstorming relevant questions require multitasking ability, keen eyes, and a sharp mind. I can’t imagine myself in that position. I would not know what to say next.

As difficult as their job is, what the interviewers would benefit for themselves is the habit of prompt thinking, quick reaction and thoughtful responses in difficult situations. That’s also the skill I wish to achieve. I consider myself as too slow and hesitant, and not willing to take risks. Maybe this is the chance to do another thing that I’ve never done before, just to see how far I would go.


Casel, B. (2013, June 11). What The Best Interviewers Get Right. Retrieved from Casjam:



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