Always the Interviewer, Never the Interviewee

As a writer, I conduct a lot of interviews. Most everyone I interview in person or over the phone blanks and stammers every now and then, and I know it’s because it’s really hard for them to say exactly what they want to say when they’re on the spot. I often have people tell me, “Don’t make me sound stupid,” which I find a little ridiculous considering it’s my job to make them sound good. But I get what they mean.

They don’t want me to include all of their ums, hmms, and likes that make them sound overly anxious; they don’t want me to include their ages or background stories because they’re trying to get away from being depicted in a certain way; and they certainly don’t want me to include the snarky remarks they make that are instantly followed by a “Please don’t put that in the story.”

I don’t include those things because I want them to feel good about their interview. Still, I’ve always found it funny how people get so worked up about interviews. That was, of course, until I was interviewed for a prominent news publication today.

Upon reflection, I’m starting to think I should’ve just slammed my face into my desk and knocked myself unconscious. For once, I understood just how difficult and embarrassing it is to talk to someone I don’t know about myself.

My mind went in a million different directions. Should I make myself sound older and more mature? Should I make myself sound witty? Should I make myself sound professional? Lord knows I tried to do all of those things. And failed. Miserably.

I’ve always maintained that I sound cooler behind a keyboard, which, while true, is pretty much only because I have time to think out my words. Today, I had no such buffer. If I were to give you the perfect imagery of what I sounded like during this interview, picture a chihuahua on cocaine.

Since I need to laugh at my ridiculousness, here are some GIFs of what I think I sounded like…

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UPDATE: What up, ladies and gents. Here’s a link to the Omaha World-Herald article where my crazy is featured. Also, because photos are cool…

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One thought on “Always the Interviewer, Never the Interviewee

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