Interview Tips: A Poem

Ed note: I’m thrilled to include a poem from a reader. It’s full of good advice, and it doesn’t rhyme. Its title is “I didn’t mean to write this as a poem, but I ret-conned it”. Ret-con away.

Be patient. Be willingly silent. You already know what you think; you *don’t* know what they think.

Ask follow-up questions, but don’t accidentally load them with forced options. Usually, “did you do that because you wanted to, or because dad told you to” is a worse question than “oh, why did you do that?” Usually.

Listen. Listen listen listen. If you’re thinking about your next question, you’re not listening. That’s why you write that shit down before the interview.

Be totally willing to ignore any and all shit you wrote down before the interview.

Be patient.


In addition, he added the following:

1. Ask before you start recording

2. Start recording

3. Once you’re recording, say “before we get started, do you have any questions for me?”

Sometimes, number 3 has gotten me the juiciest stuff in an interview. Even if they have no questions, it shows you’re being honest and gives them agency in the interview.

Thank you, reader. 

5 responses to “Interview Tips: A Poem

  1. I got all the way to the end before I realized it wasn’t a poem about job interviews. “Why would they be recording it? That’s kind of creepy. Are they gonna ask the interviewee to log into his or her Facebook account next?”

    Your Average Doofus

  2. Wait, I just realized your last post totally established the research interview context. That’s what I get for having the posts in my reader sorted by newest.

    WHERE ARE YOU GOING IN CALIFORNIA??? Or is this top secret information?

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