Member Information Center
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The Art of Interviewing
- Find the right place and time for the interview.
A quiet place and sufficient time are the conditions you need.
- Encourage the member to talk.
Listen, ask questions, restate what the member has told you in order to get the whole story.
- Let the member express his or her feelings.
While you are certainly after facts, the member's feelings are important, too, and can help shed light on the incident.
- Ask probing questions.
These questions often begin with "why". You need to get beneath the surface of what the member is telling you.
- Help the member think through the problem.
You and the member should weigh alternatives and explore solutions together as part of the interview.
- Avoid making judgements.
Criticizing or moralizing puts the member on the defensive and makes it difficult to find out the facts and the member's feelings.
- Avoid giving advice.
You may see the problem more clearly than the member can, but more will be gained by helping the member think through the problem on his or her own. Also, you need to be listening, not talking or mentally planning what you are going to say next.