Community input wanted: How to compile questions for an interview.

Paul W. Frields stickster at
Thu Jul 17 11:44:18 UTC 2008

On Thu, 2008-07-17 at 09:24 +0100, Jonathan Roberts wrote:
> 2008/7/17 Jeff Spaleta <jspaleta at>:
> > On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 9:07 PM, "Sankarshan (সঙ্কর্ষণ)"
> > <foss.mailinglists at> wrote:
> >> How about asking what stuff they'd like to see in Fedora in terms of
> >> internal engineering bits ? ;) Or, the very usual 'why did you end up
> >> choosing Fedora ?'
> >
> > Let me stress.  The point of this email is to ask this list how to
> > compile a list of questions... not what questions to ask.
> Jef,
> My opinion is not to ask questions based on their popularity but on
> what will make the best interview. I know that's actually out of line
> with Fedora's whole approach to things, but it's adding a whole extra
> layer of complexity that won't necessarily lead to a better
> end-product.
> In the past I've run interviews where I've invited people to send in
> their questions and then just used the best of those, and ordered them
> in the way that makes it the most interesting for the audience and
> also causes the interview to make sense. This worked well. Having some
> flow from question to question is, I think, important.
> I am also not that keen on sites like Digg etc, as I believe they can
> lead to a "lowest common denominator" situation, something you
> definitely don't want for an interesting interview!

Hear, hear.  At some point, the process overwhelms the actual goal, and
you spend more time on the process than actually accomplishing anything.
If something occurs to you during the interview, do you plan to put the
interview on hold, come back to the community for more processing, and
then return to the interview subject?  I'd hope not.

Write a list of questions with topics that make sense to you.  Turn that
into a conversation if it helps elicit interesting information.  I
assume that if you ask questions and get answers once, the door will not
be shut on you forevermore at that point.  ("You have had your three
wishes, no begone!")

Paul W. Frields
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717   -  - stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug
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