Fundamentals of Interviewing
Asking Better Questions
What if the Client Won't Engage?
Why Interview a Client?
Two Types of Interviews
This is an interactive conversation where you can learn how the client engages with the world and vice versa.
This is a fact-finding question and answer session with little room for nuance or explication.
Other Reasons to Interview
Gather and share the input of others, rather that your own interpretation.
Give the audience information they're searching for.
Increase awareness of a product or serivce the client offers.
Get a first-hand account of the client's big-picture plans.
Ask questions that are essential to your purpose.
Listen attentively and watch for non-verbal queues.
Research, question, review, explore.
Dig into your subject's background to find commonality.
Everything is in
- James Lipton
Engage your subject's current forward-looking energy.
Get clarification if you need it.
Identify habits and practices. What's worked can still work. What's broken can be fixed.
Start with why, how or what.
SHORT & FOLLOW-UP
Short questions will get the essential info. Follow-ups get nuance and insight.
POINTED & LIGHT-HEARTED
Mix your difficult questions with those that are easier to answer or provoke a laugh.
What if the Subject Won't Engage
GET IT ELSEWHERE
Ask others -- assistants, direct reports, etc.
We need this information to be successful in our work together.
Go until you hear a no.
Consider an alternate version of your question that might get the response you need.
If the subject won't engage, we may not be a good fit.
Recording your interivew will let you stay engaged in the conversation.
Do for your subject what you would want done for you.
For reasearch, outlining questions, getting input, conducting interview
MAKE BIG ASKS
Go for the big guns and ask hard/high-level questions.
Is there anything we didn't cover that you want me to know about?