Comms,  Painting,  Photography

How to Interview Someone During a Pandemic

Due to COVID-19, we are required to work from home for the time being. There is one issue… We have to interview someone for our communications class.

Because of this, we decided to interview via email. This is how it went.

Interviewer: Elle Ronen
Interviewee: Rebecca Knox

  1.  What is your favourite art subject and why? 
    My favourite subject at the moment is image. I have found still life painting a bit of a challenge but really enjoyed working and blending oils. From thin to thick applications, I have discovered that I really enjoy painting with a pallet knife! I had never used this tool before, and found it quite intriguing as I was working my way through the image ie layers, colours and textures. Also, Catharine has been amazing and has over exceeded my expectations as an art tutor.  I have so much respect for her as she herself has clearly reiterated her respect for art and her students.
  2. What would you do even if you didn’t get paid to do it? 
    Community and charity work.  SPCA volunteer.  I am also in a band and do not get paid for gigs, so really do it for the love of music and community. 
  3. How does learning art connect to your job and/or personal hobbies and experiences? 
    I think finding something that you love and are passionate about is good for you as an individual.  It demonstrates growth, self-awareness, and commitment and opens up a world of so much information and inspiration.  Good for the soul. 
  4. What do you hope to accomplish by doing this course? 
    As mentioned previously, it is a personal growth journey for me.  I am hoping that during this course, there will be amazing opportunities which I hope will lead me in ways I have never seen or experienced before.
  5. Do you have any hidden skills or talents? 
    I must say that I’m a bit of a foodie and love to hold dinner parties in which I cook and host on a regular basis.  [the guests] say the food is good and [and ask] if I had ever considered [being a chef]. 
    I am also a qualified masseuse in holistic massage therapy.
  6. Have you ever had to overcome a major obstacle? How did you overcome it? 
    ​I had a family member who fell ill 2 years ago with cancer.  A huge obstacle for the family having to face and come to terms with.  But with the support of friends, family and health professionals and services, we came to terms with it, dealt with it, fought it and survived it. 
  7. How do you handle success?  
    I’m not one to blow my own trumpet.  I do like to succeed and aim to please, and if and when I do succeed, I tend to keep it private. 
  8. How do you handle failure?  
    You learn by your mistakes, as this is a part of life.
  9. Why are you passionate about art? When did this passion first come? 
    Art enables me to be expressive and unpredictable at times.  There are no limitations or restrictions on me as an individual.  I came to realize this at an early age and always followed my instincts to where it has put me today. 
  10. What is your ideal world?
    A world without Covid 19 at the moment.  Freedom of expression.

Learn more about Rebecca at her blog in NMIT.

Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

I selected these questions as they were open questions with plenty of opportunities to write more and receive broader answers. This helped me receive much more information about Rebecca than if I had chosen closed questions or questions with specific answers required. I had to choose this recording method due to the COVID-19 alert levels, which meant NMIT was closed, and we had to work from home. Although I had no choice but to do this method, I do believe it’s quite useful as it gave Rebecca plenty of time to answer the questions and no stress from being interviewed face-to-face. It also helped me record all her answers without missing important information that I could have missed if we were talking face-to-face and taking notes.

These questions were quite successful at eliciting a response from Rebecca as they were open but also asked for a broad answer. Most questions received at least two sentences as an answer, which will be very helpful when I write the bio. I also chose questions that are idealistic and relate to personal experiences which help elicit an engaging response.

Due to COVID-19 alert level 4, I was unable to record a face-to-face interview on camera. The next best recording method was emailing questions and answers which I think was even more successful than a face-to-face interview on camera would be. This is because it gave Rebecca time to answer the questions and think about her answers. It also helped her not worry about being on camera or stressing about answering the question within a time limit. Answering the questions via email also gave her the ability to reword her answers or change her answers when needed and exclude many words which undermine verbal communication such as “um”, “actually”, “literally”, etc. Due to these successes, writing the bio would be quite easy as I have all the answers written down and do not have to go through a recording to listen to the answers and write them down myself. This method also ensures all answers are allowed to be used in the bio as Rebecca thought carefully before emailing rather than if it were a face-to-face interaction, she might have said things on-the-spot which she might not want in her bio. Overall, I think this method of recording has been highly successful and will be very useful when I write the bio.


This blog is part of the NMIT Blog Network. The articles and comments in this blog are the opinion of the authors and not necessarily those of NMIT.