Putting people at ease

It's important to put people at ease and create a situation where they are free to speak openly and honestly. You can also make them feel like they know something valuable, and most people love to share their knowledge.

Good questioning preparation and techniques can help prevent or minimize the follow problemmatical responses from interviewees:


Here's how not to do it. Go through and identify each part that would make people uncomfortable:

"I am the famous Dr. Helmut Von Schmidt, Professor of Philosophy at Vienna University. I’m conducting some research and would like you to help.
You must sign a form to be involved. Please read all five pages of fine print.
My interview will follow a questionnaire. It has only 200 questions and will take three days.
We can interview you at my office at the University, room no. 3072, in the philosophy department.
Do you mind if I have these three other professors observe you?
I need to record every word you say during the interview; I’ll put the microphone near your mouth so we get a good recording.
Every word you say will be carefully analyzed by my team of scientists in the back room.