Monday, November 11, 2013

Lee Seung Hwan / Interview Essay / Tue 1p.m

Interview About Major


I interviewed my close friend, Sang-Min Kim. He majors in economics in HUFS now. He went to the same high school with me, but he entered HUFS one year after I attended this school, because he had to take the exam one more time. I prepared 5 questions beforehand, just to make the process more smooth. The interview was conducted inside the graduate school building, and the atmosphere there was very comforting. The main theme of the interview was 'future and major'.


Just after meeting each other in the building, we didn't get right into the interview first. We had few conversations about how things were going. I thought if I throw the prepared questions at the very first, the interview might become very awkward. I tried to make the atmosphere more natural, as if we are having just a conversation, not an interview. I threw an humorous question, asking what was his major, even though we both knew the answer beforehand. It worked, and we both laughed. The we could conduct our interview in much more comfortable atmosphere.


I asked about several things, like 'do you like your major?', or 'do you want to have a job which is relevant to your major in the future?'. The question which generated the longest answer was this - 'What are the hardships when learning economics?' I think the reason why this got the longest answer was simply that he had many hardships in studying his major. He answered that basically economics is difficult, and furthermore, he said that economics is not a mathematics subject, but a social subject. Therefore, as economy changes along with the society, adopting standstill theories to that circumstances requires much more skills. He said he has done some assignments about this, and he experienced hardships.


The shortest answer was 'I just came to like my major.', and the question to this was 'Do you like your major?' A simple question and a simple answer they are. He said that he didn't like his major so much at first, but as he studied more deeply into it, he came to like it. The most interesting response was the answer to the question, 'If you were to go back to your high school days, would you choose economics again as your major?" He replied, "I can't really tell. However, if I still know the fun that economics can offer me, I think I will choose this major again." I could see how much fun his major offers to him, and how much he liked his major.


Through conducting his interview, I tried to make comfortable atmosphere, trying not to lose the least formality that interview entailed. I learned that this worked well. Interviewing doesn't go like two parties great each other and just ask and answer about prepared questions. It should not be that mechanic, unless that interview is an extremely formal one. Some degree of flexibility is needed. Some answers can stray from the original questions, and some new questions can be created, but that is okay. If you just read some prepared questions and just wait then, the interviewee will end up with just few sentences. I learned that flexible communication with the interviewee generates many more useful answers.

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