Friday, November 13, 2020

How to respond to an interview request

 An interview is a blatant attempt to use the interviewer’s platform and audience reach to prop up their own reputation. It’s like finding out that I was going through chemo for stage 3 cancer, so you put me on your show because it would be great ratings. That kind of stuff is fine if we were talking about say, how nice my shoes are or some other trivial matter, but when someone finds out something really serious about me they should treat me with at least some respect.

I would refuse the interview, and if they try to force me into it I would just come up with some silly answers. How my favorite color is red; how the most delicious food on earth is chocolate cake, etc.

If it is a serious interview, I would be respectful and try my best to say something meaningful. If they are trying to use me as some kind of prop or tool for their own gain, then I would refuse because that’s not proper.

Also, I would make sure to research the interviewer before agreeing to be interviewed. If I found out they were some kind of asshole who was going around ruining peoples lives and threatening them with violence if they didn’t go on his show, then I wouldn’t agree.

If it is an interview about my work, I would be professional and try to explain the concepts as best as I can. But again, if they are trying to use me for their own gain or prop up their reputation by talking about how much better than everyone else they are at everything then I would refuse.

If the interviewer had a reputation for being a nice, respectable person who was fair and kind to others then I would be more likely to agree.

Whenever you want to ask a question, first understand the question. The meaning of every word in the sentence is important.

Asking a question is like asking for directions. If you don't understand the question, or if you misunderstand it, then no matter how good your answer is, it won't be effective.

In the case of an interview, you need to understand what sort of information they want to hear from you in response. It's very difficult for me to give a good answer if I don't completely understand your question.

I think the best way to respond is not to attempt to make an argument, but rather a considered reaction. I don't think you need too much preparation for this but nevertheless here are some considerations:

Firstly there is the question of why you are being asked to respond. It seems clear that they want your opinion on something, and if it were a simple request for information then perhaps I would suggest that you simply provide this in a short and concise manner.

However, it is clear that they want you to provide a considered opinion on the topic, so I think the best way to respond would be with an essay-style answer. This is because then your intelligence and ability can really shine through, and give a much better impression of yourself than simply providing short answers.

However, you must ensure that this essay is neither too long nor too short. It should be about 1000 words give or take a few hundred either way.

I would suggest you refrain from using a pre-fabricated essay, but instead write it yourself. This will really show off your own intelligence and ability.

You should start by introducing yourself and your credentials, if you have any. This will show that you understand the importance of first impressions.

The interview requests reflect upon the interviewer's standards and processes rather than mine. It is a bit like seeing someone on a train struggle to open a door, trying multiple times before giving up and looking around for help. The first question I would ask myself is "Why did I get into this line of work?" If you have an answer that makes sense, then by all means do it; if not, maybe you should think about switching careers.

If the request came from a stranger, then I would ask my self "Why did this person contact me?" If it is for some scientific inquiry or to contribute to the public record, then there are plenty of places online where you can post information about yourself. If it is an interview with no apparent purpose, maybe that's another reason why they shouldn't be doing their job.

I would also ask myself if the request was reasonable. If it is a one-time event, then there are plenty of reasons why I should say no. For example, maybe it will take a long time to prepare for and think about; perhaps you have other obligations that may conflict with an interview session; or maybe it just isn't something you believe in or want to do.

If it is a recurring event, then maybe you should ask yourself "Why do they want to interview me?" If it is for some sort of public record, then the issue of privacy comes up. It may be worthwhile to consider that these records will likely live on forever, and what this might mean in 500 years.

If you are being interviewed by someone who is also a scientist, then maybe this would be an opportunity for the two of you to learn something from each other. If it is about your research or field, and not just personal information or gossip, then ask yourself "Will I benefit from this?" If so, then go for it; if not try asking them why the interview is important.

In the end, you have to make your own decision. But I think it is important to ask these questions for yourself and not just take someone else's word on what they want from you.

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