Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Interviewing Hints

In the systems development business today,
there is too much emphasis on the computers
and not enough emphasis on the business.

IT people need to know the business better than the business people.
  • It will help you design and code programs when the interviews did not cover everything.
  • It will help you know when users are asking for things that don't make sense.

IT people need to know the business of IT better than ever.

  • Projects are getting bigger and bigger.
  • Projects are getting more critical to business waiting for them.

Systems must be designed by the users indirectly (they must set specifications)

IT people should understand that most users don't know what they want, and don't understand their jobs very well.

Why Interview?
  • Seek an understanding of the business and the business problems faced by the user before designing the system
  • The most common problem IT have in interviewing is underestimating the complexity of the problems faced by the users.
  • Often only the first couple of problems or cases mentioned by the user are solved rather than solving everything at once.
  • Users perceive this phenomenon as "You are not listening to me!"
  • This phenomenon results in systems that do some things very well, but do not actually solve the business needs.

Problems with Interviews
  • Often you will find your biggest problem is getting users' time.
  • Users do not realize how complicated their business is. They have not stopped and counted all the special cases they address each day.

Rules of Thumb
  • Break in and ask questions if you have them.
  • Do not take too many notes.
  • Listen, listen, listen.

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