In this project management tutorial Angela shares why interviewing can be a waste of time, especially if not prepared for adequately. She shares an overview of a process to plan and prepare, conduct, and follow up on interviews.
- Have you ever been in a job interview where the interviewer didn't prepare and the interview just did not go well at all? You hope and deserve an interview where the interviewer has prepared and thought about meaningful questions to ask, and follows up accordingly. Your interviewees deserve this as well. Interviews are disastrous if we just show up without preparing. There is a process you follow to get the most of your interviews but rest assured, it will not take up unneeded time of yours.
In fact, mastering this process will make sure you don't waste your time or your stakeholder's time. It's important that you look at the interviewing technique as something you can master. You want to make sure not to take this process too casually or risk losing a lot of opportunity. Careful preparation, thoughtful execution, and strategic followups can save you and the team precious time later in the project. At first glance, this might seem like a lot of extra work, but rest assured, as you practice using this framework, it will become more natural and the steps go very quickly.
Let's look at interviewing in three parts. First is preparation. Preparing for the interview is paramount to your success. It sets you and those interviewed up for success and a good use of everyone's time. Preparing includes things like defining the purpose of the interview, selecting the right person and or people to interview, researching the interviewees, planning your questions, and the logistics of setting up the interview.
I know, much of it seems tactical. These steps can be more strategic in nature and truly set up success on other aspects of the project. Next is conducting the interview. Conducting the interview is critical to your stakeholder relationships. How you behave and your behavior self-awareness often determines how much the interviewee will share. Careful awareness and being in tune to the interviewee can make or break the interview and the stakeholder relationship.
Conducting the interview includes things like building rapport, laying out expectations, asking probing questions in a nonthreatening manner, active listening and empathy, capturing notes and important findings, wrapping up the interview well, and finally, there is the followup after the interview. After the interview is a strategic time to take advantage of. Don't miss out on key things you can do to strengthen the relationship, influence, and further define work with the stakeholder.
Following up includes things like thanking them for their time and input, confirming and empathizing with their needs, following up on any hot buttons, reviewing your notes for intent, and confirming action items. The interview process can be tactical and also very strategic. Be sure to take advantage at the strategic level and get amazing results eliciting.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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- Choosing to use interviews
- Selecting the right person to interview
- Planning interview questions
- Building rapport in an interview
- Choosing probing questions
- Listening and taking notes
- Analyzing and reviewing notes before following up