by Anna Bird
After doing this profile, I am happy with the story I am able to write, but there are definitely a few things I would have done differently. I am happy with the subject I found, but I also think I could have found somebody with a more interesting story. However at the same time I think my subject could have had more of a story if I had asked him different questions, and explored more of his personal life. He was insistent upon talking about his professional life, though, so I felt it hard to pry for more personal details.
I would have changed the way I prepared for the interview. I tend to feel over confident with my interviewing skills so I did little to prepare. If I could do it over, I would research him and the program he works for much more thoroughly, so I could have a better grasp on the language and structure of his job before engaging in conversation with him about it. I also think if I had researched him more I would have potentially found other things to ask him about besides his teaching career that could have sparked a more interesting direction in the story.
Lastly, after transcribing the interview, I noticed how many times I got too caught up in following the questions that I prepared instead of winging it and going with the flow of the conversation. That is something I definitely need to work on for future interviews. I feel comfortable having conversations with people, but in interviews I get so focused on the questions I prepared in advance that I forget to be conversational and go with the flow.
Oh and next time I am definitely going to find a second source well in advance of the deadline.