A Note To My Team: What Now?

Dear Team,

Going into my first pre-interview, with Shawna Shapiro, I’d like to get your advice. For all the talk about interviews at the last retreat, I’m still unsure about what kind of questions to ask. In a pre-interview, what do we want to talk about, and what do we want to save? What do we want from her for our project? I feel like doing “expert” interviews will be harder, for with stakeholders we can ask in general about a person’s experience, whereas experts have specific, well, expertise. That may also make it easier, if we can zoom in on that area of expertise and start a conversation on it; I just hope I will be able to start such a conversation. Hopefully all will flow smoothly, but I’m a bit nervous. If you all could look at the questions I’ve added to the interview question document for Shawna, and give me your input and/or add more, that would be fantastic!

Onto another topic. At the retreat, I wrote on my weekly goals that I wanted to reach out to both Nadia Horning and my superintendent, Peter Burrows. As of now, I have not yet contacted either of them, as I’m hesitant to add too many contacts for one point person. Right now I already am in touch with Shawna, Kathy Foley, and Fatuma Bulle, and if I added two more I would have five contacts. That feels like a lot. What do you all think I should do? Kati, would you be able to take on contacting one or both of them, as you also live in Middlebury? If so, just tell me and we can work it out. Otherwise I can contact them, but I don’t want to back out later, so I thought I should check in first.



Featured Image by Hc_07

Greta Hardy-Mittell

2 Responses to “A Note To My Team: What Now?

  • Hi Greta,

    I think you’re asking a lot of really important questions. I left a few suggestions and additional questions on the shared doc, but as far as the pre-interview goes, I think that a big part of it could be explaining in more depth the purpose and format of the interview so as to minimize discomfort and inefficiently used time in the actual interview. You could also ask her to give you a brief overview of her experience and field of study, so that you can ask more directed questions in the interview itself, or, if your main purpose is to get a better sense of her speaking style, you could even ask her to tell an unrelated story so that you can plan for her mannerisms and movement. I would be wary of asking too specific questions, in case she says something that you regret not getting on camera, but it’s totally up to your discretion. I hope this was useful in some way!


    • Clara,
      Thank you, that does help! I like the questions you added, and I also think you’re right that I shouldn’t ask all of those today, but rather get a general overview of what she does so I’m ready for the actual interview.

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