Concerns and Hopes about Interviewing Peter Norfolk OBE

This week, I will be interviewing Paralympic athlete Peter Norfolk OBE. I plan to cover the following areas during the interview: childhood, his accident and rehabilitation, his experience at Stoke-Mandeville, wheelchair tennis, his training process, the Paralympics, his business EPC, his views on the current world of Disabled Athletics, and society’s attitude towards disabled people.

My concerns about the interview are pretty common:  Will Mr. Norfolk easily find the University? Will the equipment work properly? Will my questions prompt some really great answers or will I be too nervous and leave Mr. Norfolk ill at ease or, worse, insulted? I seem to go back and forth with my confidence. At times, I am struck by a sort of paralyzing fear that I will do a terrible job. Most of the time, however, I feel like this will be a great experience and I feel confident that I will be able to ask questions and subtly direct the interview so that the end product is something we can both be happy with. I believe my enthusiasm for the topic should help me in both the preparatory work and the actual interview. I hope that the interview will allow me to gain insight into the world of the Paralympics and Disabled Athletics. I also hope Mr. Norfolk will feel this is a sufficient platform on which to speak freely about society’s attitudes towards disabled people, what needs to change, and how he feels that can be done.

On the whole, I am excited about our upcoming meeting and I hope he is able to enjoy the experience, too.


One Comment on “Concerns and Hopes about Interviewing Peter Norfolk OBE”

  1. Graham Smith says:

    Conducting a first interview can be daunting. But most interviewees are usually kind towards interviewers not only giving generously with their time, but also often understand that the pressure is on the interviewer, especially the student interviewer. The result is interviewees want to help. What we need to do as interviewers is to allow interviewees the time and space to tell their histories in the way they want to.

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