Behind the Hallway Interviews


Hong-An Phan

Michael Peterson ‘23 and Mia Compas ‘23 have gained an impressive following on the CCHS Dons Press Tik Tok for their Hallway Interviews series, where they feature the students of Cathedral Catholic. Follow @cchsdonspress to see their viral videos!

Hallway Interviews has attracted the attention of thousands across San Diego, gaining over 50 thousand views within one month of the release of its first episode. With eight episodes having been released since November 1st, viewers have watched their classmates be featured, but what about the people behind the scenes?

Working during their 7th-period class, Journalism II Honors, Mia Compas ‘23 and Michael Peterson ‘23 are the two minds who put their idea into action. Branching from the main idea, credited to Kelli Jackson ‘23 of the same class and inspiration from Tik Toks, the duo has worked tirelessly to produce interviews for the Cathedral Catholic Dons Press Tik Tok (@cchsdonspress).

The idea for Hallway Interviews is credited to Kelli Jackson, who explains her inspiration behind the series, “We always go [and] roam around the hallways and everyone’s in the hallways during 7th period.” The proposal for the series was pitched and approved by the journalism program, and the project quickly began.

Peterson describes their filming schedule, “Tuesdays to Fridays are when we typically record. And we just go out there and come up with a question on the fly. We just go for it.” The interviewers can be found roaming about the entire campus, getting coverage from both floors of all four buildings of Cathedral.

The two new journalists have found interviewing particularly interesting. Compas says, “I love how it gives you insight into what people think, and I just like spending time with Michael too, we became good friends over it even though he disagrees.” (To which Peterson replied, “I don’t disagree.”)

Peterson adds, “I love the people that just give their funny answers, that are just super unexpected, like super random, that’s what I love about interviewing people. In our second episode, we had somebody come up to us, and we said,
‘What’s your name?’ and he said, ‘I don’t know.’”

How do the interviewers find interesting people to interview? There’s no doubt that students may wander about the halls and hope for a chance to be featured, but Compas and Peterson reveal their unique strategy-

Simply wandering around.

“They just have to be in the hallways, it’s in the name: ‘Hallway’ Interviews. If you’re in the hallway, we’ll talk to you. We’ve done a few episodes where we pull people from classes but that’s rare, and only if the hallway is bare and we need to,” Compas explains.

With their constantly growing audience and social media following, the Hallway Interviews duo hopes to explore the many unique stories of CCHS students. In fact, Hallway Interviews has been the topic of discussion by many students within the past few weeks, being a source of relaxation and happiness as finals steadily approach.

Peterson is aware of the impact that the series has had on the campus, saying, “It kind of has already impacted people. I go around and people are like, ‘Oh, you’re the Hallway Interview guy,’ or people I’ve never even met before know me from Tik Tok.”

Despite the apparent popularity of the series, the duo maintains their true values and hopes to make people’s days a little brighter. Compas adds, “I think it just feels good to make people laugh. I think Michael and I are really funny people and hopefully our humor shows through the interviews.”

There is no doubt that students are talking about the humerous interviews and quick witted interviewers of CCHS Dons Press. Whether a friend, a teacher, or a friend of a friend was interviewed, Hallway Interviews has certainly made its impact on the Cathedral Catholic community. The next time your 7th period is free, take a walk around the hallways. You might just find that a certain duo are waiting around the corner with a fun question for you.