In a previous post I talked about planning to conduct an interview. As part of a research project for university I have to conduct an interview with someone working in industry. In this blog post, I’ll be talking about conducting an interview and reflecting on the experience.
The interview was held at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in Waterloo. A great location with lovely views of the city. As a side note I’ve subsequently joined the IET, membership for a student was quite cheap and it means I can now use their facilities. As my background is in IT and Engineering I thought it was a good association to join. I’m determined to expand my network over the next couple of years so it gives me a new community to explore. You can find out more about the IET by visiting the website https://www.theiet.org.
As for the interview…I had prepared around 50 interview questions and my professor kindly reviewed these before my interview. This really put my mind at ease as I wasn’t sure if what I had prepared was suitable for my interviewee or not. The interview went on a lot longer than I had hoped (by around half an hour) but I kept asking my interviewee if he was okay for time, he didn’t seem to mind and wanted to continue. I recorded the interview with my Dictaphone and wrote some hand written notes to jog my memory. I am now busy reflecting on the answers and writing my report.
What did I learn from this experience? Listening is hard. I mean REALLY listening. I asked my question and my interviewee answered my question, but I found it difficult to create questions from the answers. You really have to think on your feet. Some questions came easily, and some of my listed questions were answered within questions. I just hope that I didn’t come across as awkward. There were times I felt a bit awkward, I think this was because I’ve not had to conduct such a formal interview with someone in this field before. Either way I got all of my questions answered and I think I have enough to complete my assignment.
If I was asked to do something like this again, I would definitely feel more confident.