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Ten Tips for Interviewers
- Ask one question at a time.
- State your questions as directly as possible.
- Ask open-ended questions-questions that begin
with "why, how, where, what kind of," etc. Avoid "yes
or no" questions.
- Start with non-controversial questions. One good
place to begin, for instance, is with the interviewee's childhood
- Don't let periods of silence fluster you.
- Avoid interrupting the interviewee.
- If the interviewee strays away from the topic
in which you are interested, don't panic. Sometimes the best parts
of the interview come about this way. If you feel the digression has
drifted too far afield, gently steer the interviewee back to the topic
with your next question.
- Be respectful of the interviewee. Use body language
to show you are interested in what he or she has to say. Remember,
the interviewee is giving you the gift of his or her memories and
- After the interview, thank the interviewee for
sharing his or her experiences. Also send a written thank-you note.
- Don't use the interview to show off your knowledge,
charm, or other attributes. Remember, "good interviewers never
shine-only their interviews do."