PEOPLE GENERALLY enjoy telling stories about their experiences. A good interview helps you take advantage of this natural inclination in order to gather valuable information. Interviewing gives you an opportunity to speak directly with the people who can help you make informed decisions. Through these interviews you gain a better sense of people and their views of the world by subtly eliciting their true feelings, desires, struggles, and opinions through a few carefully crafted questions. An additional sensitivity to the unplanned and unscripted aspects of an interview can allow for equally illuminating discoveries.
A good interviewer needs to be attuned to the interviewee to know when to probe for more information, when to redirect the conversation, and how to parse what is meant from what is said. In other words, one must, as journalist Lawrence Grobel said, “converse like a talk show host, think like a writer, understand subtext like a psychiatrist, [and] have an ear like a musician.”