And now you know…my interview process

Wooden block with the number 15 on it posted on a wall

If you are reading this post, then chances are high that you are well aware of my ongoing interview series “Do You Think You Know…”. If you have managed to beat the odds and do not know what I’m talking about, just read some previous posts, the series will stand out and you can get caught up easily.

At this point in time, I have conducted six interviews, and they all have had varying levels of popularity and high levels of enjoyment for both myself and the person we’re getting to know. Within this post, I hope to explain and describe the general process used going into each interview, even as it is bound to change and evolve with time and experience. I also hope to clarify motives for why I choose to make the effort.

Sadly, I am do not hold an employment position that uses any of my design and development knowledge. Any design or development work has been done during my free time away from a 40hr/week day job. While I won’t comment further on my day job, I will admit that I do still appreciate the amount of time available to think and brainstorm, even if it does suffer distractions. It was during that free time that the first draft of this post was written then on yellow legal paper. This is also when all questions, for the person in the hotseat, are conceived. I am able to sit, figure out what I am going to ask, and how I’m going to word them.

I have done what I can to keep the questions pretty open ended but also keep some topics regular with each interview. Questions involving favorite colors and fonts, preference between pirates and ninjas and the occasional zombie or pirate, and a nonsensical question involving birds on powerlines, have all been used regularly. One that I take a lot of pride in and put a lot of focus on is about twitter users that the interviewee recommends. This focus is because almost all of the people that we’ve gotten to know together, I first met on Twitter. One of the best parts about this question is the allowance granted to the interviewee to highlight some people important to them. Little bits of promotion and recommendation facilitates everyone winning and meeting new people.

At the end of the brainstorming stage, I have fifteen questions that I’ve done my best to tailor fit the person, their personality, and their areas of specialty. The questions are a mix of serious and (hopefully)humorous questions. Before sending the questions, I organize them in a manner that goes back and forth between serious and humorous. I do what I can to accomodate for busy schedules by sending the questions about two weeks before the day I plan to publish the post. I also send friendly reminders, if necessary, a couple times during the two weeks.

Once I receive the answered questions back, I put everything into a new wordpress post, apply the necessary styling, add the associated settings and metadata, and schedule it for the right date and time. The post going live is what I look forward to the most, as it is when myself and the interviewed get to have fun promoting the interview and spreading the love. Reading the twitter replies, retweets, post comments, and anything else make all the time and effort worth it.

At the end of the day, I get to take pride in that I got to promote someone I care about, support, and believe in. Meanwhile, that person gets to be in the spotlight for a day and be the focus of peoples’ attention. I hope that it is considered a huge honor, with them being in a field where so frequently they do the highlighting, primarily for clients. That is why I put forth the effort.

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