Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis
The Interview Content

| Interview Content | Interview Process | Being a Good Listener |

A. Determine the goal of knowledge acquisition (what types of information do you want)
1. Scopes and bounds of the task (what is included, what is not)
2. Anecdotes and advice (what is important)
3. Sequencing of tasks
4. Relationships (what are they; how can we identify them)
5. Heuristics (what is effective/ineffective)
6. Verification (how does expert do it)

B. Example questions to get started
1. Could you give me an overview of what you do?
2. What initiates the task?
3. How do you determine that the task is complete?
4. Where does the output of the task go when it leaves you?
5. Do other people contribute to the task? What do they do?
6. What are the basic components involved in the task?
7. Can we define terms?

C. Example Questions to Elicit Anecdotes and Advice
1. Can you think of a typical incident that illustrates what you do?
2. What advice would you give to a novice just getting started?
3. Have you ever had a situation where ....? How did you proceed?
4. When you get stuck, what do you do?
5. What was the hardest case you ever solved?
6. What recommendations would you give if ....?

D. Example Questions to Elicit Sequence Information
1. Could we work through a case step by step?
2. What do you do first? Next?
3. Why does step X follow step Y?
4. Can these steps be reversed or taken in another order?
5. Let me give you a hypothetical example and you tell me how you would go about solving it.

E. Example Questions to Elicit Relationship Information
1. Is this task like any other task?
2. X and Y seem to be similar. How are they alike? How are they different?
3. What is the relationship between A and B?
4. Can you compare Z to anything else?
5. Does this item (or concept or step) depend on something else?

F. Example Questions to Elicit Heuristic Information
1. Do you have any rule of thumb for doing . . .?
2. In these circumstances, you seem to do? Are there any exceptions to this rules?
3. Are there solutions to the task that are workable but are not acceptable? Why?
4. How to you Judge the quality of your work?
5. How do others Judge the quality of your work?
6. At this point, how do you make a decision? For what outcome are looking?

G. Examples of Verification Information
1. I understood you to say . . . Have I misunderstood?
2. How would you explain Y in layman's terms?
3. What have we omitted?
4. Would it be correct to say that the term X means . . . . . '

The Interview Process

A. Process Issues
1. Prepare the Environment
2. Prepare the Interview Opening
3. Gather Aids for Interview
4. Choose a Strategy
5. Prepare a Close of the Interview

B. Prepare the environment
1. Requirements
   a. Comfortable and private
   b. Free from distractions and interruptions

2. "When" Issues
   a. When is action needed
   b. Interviewee availability
   c. Can you talk privately
   d. Is interviewee in middle of something
   e. Is it near quitting time
   f. Is there enough time to go through material thoroughly
   g. Are you calm and in the right frame of mind
   h. Should you talk with others first

3. "Where" Issues
   a. Interviewee office
   b. Your office
   c. Neutral site
   d. Telephone

4. "How" Issues
   a. How do you notify interviewee of interview
   b. Do you want the interviewee to consider anything in advance
   c. Do you want the interviewee to bring to interview
   d. Does the room provide the kind of atmosphere y~ want to establish?

C. Prepare the Opening
1. Requirements
   a. Build rapport, but do not overdo
   b. Explain what the interview is about
   c. Explain the benefit of being involved
   d. Insure that opening is consistent with objective of the interview

2. Issues to Consider
   a. Interviewee's background and interests
   b. Do you have common interests or experiences
   c. Previous history with interviewee
   d. Friendly and sincere
   e. What do you want to accomplish
   f. How can you arouse the interest of the interviewee

D. Interview Aids
1. Requirements
   a. Gather necessary and relevant data
   b. Prepare a checklist of points to consider

2. Background Materials
   a. Checklists
   b. Documents or Records

3. Recording Aids
   a. Video-tape
   b. Tape Recorder

E. Strategy
1. Options
   a. Directive: get or give specific information
      i. Highly structured
      ii. Primarily Closed Questions

   b. Non-Directive: Expert encouraged to speak freely
      i. Highly unstructured
      ii. Heavy used of open-ended and Probe Questions
      iii. Skill as a listener is crucial

   c. Mixture of Directive and Non-Directive

2. Issues to Consider
   a. What do you want to accomplish
   b. What do you want the interviewee to do
   c. What will the interviewee be willing to do
   d. What preparation does the interviewee need
   e. To what strategy is the interviewee accustomed
   f. What does interviewee know about the situation
   g. Is the interviewee likely to understand the process
   h. How valid will the interviewee's information be and how much do I need to ask to determine this
   i. Are the interviewees opinions well-formed
   j. Will the interviewee be cooperative, suspicious, evasive, reluctant, highly motivated or disinterested
   k. Will the interviewee be anxious or fearful
   l. How will interviewee likely respond to what you say

F. Prepare the Closing
1. Requirements
   a. Insure that it is consistent with the tone of the rest of the interview
   b. Review and summarize findings
   c. End on a friendly note, if possible; at least keep it civilized
   d. Agree on next step

2. Issues
   a. What should be reviewed or summarized
   b. Are you certain that everything is clear -- or are you simply assuming it
   c. What are the possible steps to follow

Being a Good Interviewer

A. Your personality really affects the interview process

B. Good Interviewing Habits
1. Be receptive to others and have respect for their
2. Be willing to listen
3. Avoid unnecessary assumptions
4. Choose words for follow-up questions carefully
5. Avoid value-laden questions
6. Avoid assigning value to answers during interview
7. Remember non-verbal communication

C. Handling Problem Interviewee
1. The compulsive talker
   a. Avoid asking open questions
   b. Use primarily closed form of questions
   c. Be abrupt if necessary

2. The non-talker
   a. Work hard at building rapport and find common language and experiences
   b. Avoid closed questions
   c. Use primarily open-ended questions with extensive use of probes

3. The hostile interviewee
   a. When anger is directed toward you
      i. Admit wrong if appropriate
      ii. Compromise if feasible
      iii. Avoid getting angry in return
   b. When anger is directed at others
      i. Do not take sides
      ii. Correct misinformation tactfully
      iii. Do not challenge honestly held opinions
   c. Allow interviewee to "cool-off.

4. The nervous interviewee
   a. Explicitly explain why interviewee is there and what to expect
   b. Be sympathetic and let interviewee know you are
   c. Be relaxed yourself

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