Interviewing (viewing internally)

Dialogue by Sharon Mollerus from Flickr, Some Rights Reserved

Some notes from my experience interviewing people in project context.


  • I propose two possible dates, making sure there is time in between for writing down what I’ve uncovered.
  • If it it’s not clear who fits the role I need, then I describe what he does and his responsibilities. Also, I state the main goal and topics of the interview I wish to go through.
  • I find two, maybe three, interviews per day is my maximum for really good interviews. Beyond that I can’t do it well – it’s demanding and draining.
  • In one paper sheet I list the context, goal and topics (preferably the interviewer already knows these beforehand) and put a few open questions that I can recall during the interview. I check them out at the end just in case.

Doing it

  • Throw first, present yourself and context: why are we here? Then what you want to know.
  • Begin with easy, non threatening questions, to overcome fear.
  • Look for interesting topics that come up. Rephrase them – that ensures you confirm your understanding and shows real listening attitude.
  • Allow for time, don’t rush the interview.
  • Be quiet (hard, really hard for me) and let them finish what they say.
  • I prefer a plain notebook and a pen. No computers. It’s a barrier.
  • At the end I always thank for the time and ask permission for further questions just in case I need more information.


  • Reserve 30 minutes right after the interview to jolt down your fresh notes in digital form. Trust me on this one.
  • Sometimes I use colors to isolate different types of information. This way I don’t have to force a structure in unstructured notes and still identify higher level qualitative information. More on this here from a previous comment.

Tags: , ,

One Response to “Interviewing (viewing internally)”

  1. 2013 Wrap-up | ITIL Blues Says:

    […] topics I dwelved into: Interviewing, Stakeholders, Service Catalog versus Service Request Catalog, Change, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: