I’ve recently been getting a number of interview requests where the interviewer wants to do the Q&A with a procedural “hook” — i.e., some gimmick ostensibly to make the interview more fun and and interesting (“Answer as if you’re in the middle of being waterboarded!” “The questions are in the form of palindromes!” etc). Well, folks:
1. Most “gimmick” interview set-ups are not nearly as fun and interesting as one might hope they would be, either for the interviewee or the reader;
2. No gimmick can make a bad interview question good, and good interview questions don’t need a gimmick;
3. The interview is generally supposed to be about the interviewee, not the gimmick or the interviewer.
Correlative to all the above, it’s also been my experience that most gimmick interviews I’ve sat for have not been fun, had bad questions, and were more about the interviewer trying to show off than putting a spotlight on the interview subject. Or in other words: really not worth the time. Gimmicky fake interviews can be fun on occasion. Gimmicky real interviews? Thanks, no.
If you’d like to interview me, just ask good questions, straight, please. I find those a lot easier to engage with.