The last time that I conducted a formal interview was in 2004. I was in a communications class during my undergraduate degree, and I interviewed a British professor at Boston University for an assignment. He was a scientist, which lended a commonality, and also had been knighted, which led a high degree of intrigue. I remember chatting and we talked about his knighting ceremony. His car never showed up at the train station, so decked to the nines in a tuxedo he took a cab off the street to Buckingham Palace. When they got to the gate, he instructed the driver that he could drive through the gate and drive up to the palace, which basically made the cabbie’s life. I remember that the interview ended with my feeling jealous that as a US citizen I couldn’t be knighted, and he smiled and said something along the lines of “well, it’s never too late for you [the US] to come back [into the British Empire].”
While I haven’t had any formal interviews in more than a decade and a half, I have become increasingly interested in having fascinating conversations and improving my conversational ticks and habits. So about halfway through a ten hour flight, and after a few glasses of wine, I thought I’d chat with some of the flight attendants in the back of the plane about their experiences. Unfortunately, I mistimed it as they were preparing for the next meal service so I didn’t get a lot in, but I did chat briefly with a Delta mechanical engineer who happened to be on the plane and was asking them questions about their experience as well. So maybe I can consider this part of my Rejection Therapy.
Lastly, I think part of having good conversations is in asking good questions, but part of asking good questions is, if you know in advance, doing due diligence in preparation. So I thought I’d close with a little shout out to Sean Evans from the YouTube Channel ‘First We Feast’. He runs a YouTube show where celebrities come on and eat increasingly spicy wings while he asks them interview questions. In almost any format, it would be a flash in the pan sort of show. But he and his team prepare so well that there are literally montage videos of celebrities commending him on his preparation and how it is one of their favorite interviews they have ever done. I have watched many of them for a while but recently watched one of his first ones and at way struck at how much it has improved. That’s one of the interesting things about many popular YouTube shows. As the creators become more experienced, it is fascinating the watch their content evolve. It is maybe interesting to take similar stock in our own lives and see how far we have come.