The other day I had the pleasure and novelty of being interviewed for an hour by a qualitative researcher. Someone asked me about me, my behaviors and attitudes for an hour. It was fun. And that was a nice surprise – after many years of being the interviewer or watching focus groups it was good to be reminded of how it feels on other side.

What did I notice

  • I got to talk about me for an hour – what is not to like?
  • The interviewer was interested in what I had to say and that encouraged me to say more
  • The questions were clear, thought provoking and I found myself saying things I hadn’t verbalized before
  • The follow up questions showed the high interest level
  • She related like a friend and that encouraged me to be very open and explore my own ideas
  • She scheduled an hour and filled the entire hour  – that made me feel what I had to say was valuable to the project
  • The session was recorded and that was explained gracefully at the beginning so there was no misunderstanding
  • I was paid for my time and that made me feel my comments were valued too

I recommend that everyone involved in conducting interviews is interviewed themselves to remind them what makes for a good interview session.  A great refresher training .   And if you are a facilitator make sure you go to sessions facilitated by others. You’ll see very quickly what to do and what not to do!