Interviewing Skills

Goal

To help the designer develop deeper empathy through well thought out questioning and follow up.


Duration

Interviews can run from 10 - 60 min depending on interview subject and the challenge


Group Size

Small groups/groups of 2


WHAT is it?

Interviewing is a way to engage users. Think of it as engaging with someone, rather than interviewing or surveying someone. This mindset allows us to seek the deeper insights and ask the harder questions. At the end of your time with a user, you want to have captured what that person said and did, and you want to have an understanding of what that person thinks and feels.

Why interview?

We want for students to understand a person's experience as a user in the space so that we can determine how to innovate for him/her. By understanding the choices that person makes and the behaviors that person engages in, we can identify needs and design for these needs.


How to prepare for an interview?


Brainstorm questions

Get all of the potential questions your team can generate down in written format.Try to build on one another’s ideas in order to flesh out meaningful subject areas.

Identify and order themes

Similar to “grouping” in synthesis, have your team identify themes or subject areas into which most questions fall; once you’ve identified the themes of your question-pool, determine the order that would allow the conversation to flow most naturally. This will enable you to structure the flow of your interview, decreasing the potential for hosting a seemingly-scattershot interaction with your user.

Refine questions

Once you have all the questions grouped by theme and order, you may find that there are some redundant areas of conversation, or questions that seem strangely out of place.Take a few moments to make sure that you leave room in your planning to ask plenty of “why?” questions, plenty of “tell me about the last time you _____?” questions, and plenty of questions that are directed at how the user FEELS.


How to interview?


Never say “usually” when asking a question. Instead, ask about a specific instance or occurrence, such as “tell me about the last time you ______”

Ask why. Even when you think you know the answer, ask people why they do or say things.The answers will sometimes surprise you. A conversation started from one question should go on as long as it needs to.

Encourage stories. Whether or not the stories people tell are true, they reveal how they think about the world.Ask questions that get people telling stories.

Look for inconsistencies. Sometimes what people say and what they do are different.These inconsistencies often hide interesting insights.

Listen to nonverbal cues. Be aware of body language and emotions.

Don’t be afraid of silence. Interviewers often feel the need to ask another question when there is a pause.If you allow for silence, a person can reflect on what they’ve just said and may reveal something deeper.

Don’t suggest answers to your questions. Even if they pause before answering, don’t help them by suggesting an answer.This can unintentionally get people to say things that agree with your expectations.

Ask questions neutrally. “What do you think about this idea?” is a better question than “Don’t you think this idea is great?” because the first question doesn’t imply that there is a right answer.

Don’t ask binary questions. Binary questions can be answered in a word; you want to host a conversation built upon stories.

Only ten words to a question. Your user will get lost inside long questions.

Only ask one question at a time, one person at a time. Resist the urge to ambush your user.

Make sure you’re prepared to capture. Always interview in pairs.If this is absolutely impossible, you MUST use a voice recorder—it is impossible to engage a user and take detailed notes at the same time.


HOW do we teach it?

We talk about interviewing using the term 'engage' to remind students that it's not merely a question and answer interview, but an engaging conversation that you might have with a friend.

ANATOMY OF AN INTERVIEW
We can teach interviewing by first introducing the Anatomy of an Interview Map. Each part of the map correlates to a portion of the interview which is expounded upon in the Engage Mad Libs Sheet. This Map provides a skeleton for what an interview might look like, and the Mad Lib provides a way for the interviewer to interact with the interview structure as well as subsequently build on the interview structure.




Sample Lesson (45 min)

Materials: Paper, Pencil, recording device

General Introduction: 5 min
Give students a quick introduction to interviewing and an overview of why it is important and how to approach (this can be taken from the notes above).

Interview Prep: 10 Min
Break students into pairs and ask them to each prepare interview questions for each other. The topic of the interview can vary based on the overall challenge you are working on. If you are just doing the interview exercise some sample interview topics are "Learn about how your partner likes to eat" or "Learn about what is stressing your partner out." Provide students with the guidelines from the "how to interview section" of this page to guide them in developing their interview questions.

Interview: 20 min (10 min for each person)
Have students perform their interviews on one another. Each partner has 10 minutes to interview the other.

Wrap up: 10 min
Bring the group back together to debrief and share what they learned through the process. Some same debrief questions are:
1. Share two major insights from your interview
2. What was the most challenging part?
3. If you had it to do again what would you do differently?
4. What did you learn that surprised you the most?




RELATED TO (tags):

Engage, Empathy, Understand, Observe, Anatomy of an Interview, Anatomy, Interview, Needfinding, Ethnography, Research, Field Research

ORIGINS:

Anatomy of an Interview Map--Michael Barry

RESOURCES:


Download file "Interview_card.ppt"

Back to Curriculum Home Page

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/groups/k12/search/index.rss?tag=hotlist/groups/k12/search/?tag=hotWhat’s HotHotListHot!?tag=hot6/groups/k12/sidebar/HotListAdded tag - hotdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 18:05:15+00:002016-06-09 18:05:15addTag14Added tag - activitydyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 08:51:57+00:002016-06-09 08:51:57addTag13Added tag - testdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 08:51:48+00:002016-06-09 08:51:48addTag12Added tag - prototypedyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 08:51:46+00:002016-06-09 08:51:46addTag11Added tag - ideatedyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 08:51:45+00:002016-06-09 08:51:45addTag10Added tag - definedyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 08:51:43+00:002016-06-09 08:51:43addTag9Added tag - empathizedyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 08:51:42+00:002016-06-09 08:51:42addTag8Added tag - stokedyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 08:51:40+00:002016-06-09 08:51:40addTag7Added tag - design thinking processdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 08:51:38+00:002016-06-09 08:51:38addTag6Added tag - resourcesdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 08:51:35+00:002016-06-09 08:51:35addTag5dyoungDevon Young2016-06-06 23:47:53+00:002016-06-06 23:47:53updated4dyoungDevon Young2016-06-06 21:53:23+00:002016-06-06 21:53:23updated3dyoungDevon Young2016-06-06 20:58:40+00:002016-06-06 20:58:40updated2First createddyoungDevon Young2016-06-06 20:58:21+00:002016-06-06 20:58:21created1wiki2016-06-06T23:47:53+00:00groups/k12/wiki/bb07fFalseResources and Tools by Stage/groups/k12/wiki/bb07f/Resources_and_Tools_by_Stage.htmlDevon Young14 updatesResources and Tools by Stage Key tools and worksheets in each step Warm-up [Download file "Stoke Deck.pdf"] Improv Toolkit for Educators, Improv Activiti...Falsedyoung2016-06-06T23:47:53+00:00Added tag - hotdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 18:04:48+00:002016-06-09 18:04:48addTag18Added tag - full-cycledyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:21:38+00:002016-06-09 06:21:38addTag17Added tag - designed by k12 labdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:21:34+00:002016-06-09 06:21:34addTag16Added tag - educator workshopdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:21:23+00:002016-06-09 06:21:23addTag15Added tag - 2-hourdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:21:18+00:002016-06-09 06:21:18addTag14Added tag - 2016dyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:21:08+00:002016-06-09 06:21:08addTag13Removed tag - workshopdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:21:02+00:002016-06-09 06:21:02removeTag12Removed tag - morning routinedyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:21:00+00:002016-06-09 06:21:00removeTag11Removed tag - dp0dyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:20:59+00:002016-06-09 06:20:59removeTag10Removed tag - design thinking burstdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:20:56+00:002016-06-09 06:20:56removeTag9Added tag - workshopdyoungDevon Young2016-06-06 15:58:59+00:002016-06-06 15:58:59addTag8Added tag - design thinking burstdyoungDevon Young2016-05-23 20:34:51+00:002016-05-23 20:34:51addTag7Removed tag - burstdyoungDevon Young2016-05-23 20:34:43+00:002016-05-23 20:34:43removeTag6Added tag - morning routinedyoungDevon Young2016-05-23 20:34:05+00:002016-05-23 20:34:05addTag5Added tag - dp0dyoungDevon Young2016-05-23 20:33:54+00:002016-05-23 20:33:54addTag4Added tag - burstdyoungDevon Young2016-05-23 20:33:47+00:002016-05-23 20:33:47addTag3dyoungDevon Young2016-05-23 16:46:27+00:002016-05-23 16:46:27updated2First createddyoungDevon Young2016-05-23 16:08:56+00:002016-05-23 16:08:56created1wiki2016-05-23T16:46:27+00:00groups/k12/wiki/213e5FalseDesign Thinking Burst: May 18, 2016 /groups/k12/wiki/213e5/Design_Thinking_Burst_May_18_2016_.htmlDevon Young18 updatesDesign Thinking Burst: May 18, 2016 What: An introductory experience for educators who are interested in learning about the design thinking process. When: April 28, 2016 at the d...Falsedyoung2016-05-23T16:46:27+00:00Added tag - hotdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 18:05:46+00:002016-06-09 18:05:46addTag16Added tag - full-cycledyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:22:15+00:002016-06-09 06:22:15addTag15Added tag - designed by k12 labdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:22:11+00:002016-06-09 06:22:11addTag14Added tag - educator workshopdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:22:06+00:002016-06-09 06:22:06addTag13Added tag - 2-daydyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:22:01+00:002016-06-09 06:22:01addTag12Added tag - 2016dyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:21:58+00:002016-06-09 06:21:58addTag11Removed tag - workshopdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:21:52+00:002016-06-09 06:21:52removeTag10Removed tag - discover design thinkingdyoungDevon Young2016-06-09 06:21:50+00:002016-06-09 06:21:50removeTag9Added tag - workshopdyoungDevon Young2016-06-06 15:59:14+00:002016-06-06 15:59:14addTag8Removed tag - savedyoungDevon Young2016-06-06 15:59:10+00:002016-06-06 15:59:10removeTag7Added tag - discover design thinkingdyoungDevon Young2016-05-23 21:41:41+00:002016-05-23 21:41:41addTag6Added tag - savedyoungDevon Young2016-05-16 20:35:23+00:002016-05-16 20:35:23addTag5dyoungDevon Young2016-05-13 21:14:20+00:002016-05-13 21:14:20updated4dyoungDevon Young2016-05-11 15:57:56+00:002016-05-11 15:57:56updated3dyoungDevon Young2016-05-11 03:15:39+00:002016-05-11 03:15:39updated2First createddyoungDevon Young2016-05-11 03:01:09+00:002016-05-11 03:01:09created1wiki2016-05-13T21:14:20+00:00groups/k12/wiki/7c78cFalseDiscover Design Thinking workshop: May 5-6 2016/groups/k12/wiki/7c78c/Discover_Design_Thinking_workshop_May_56_2016.htmlDevon Young16 updatesDiscover Design Thinking workshop: May 5-6 2016 Edit this page Create a new page Delete this ...Falsedyoung2016-05-13T21:14:20+00:00Added tag - hotarazAriel Raz2016-06-09 18:05:38+00:002016-06-09 18:05:38addTag13Added tag - prototypearazAriel Raz2016-06-09 06:30:10+00:002016-06-09 06:30:10addTag12Added tag - full-cyclearazAriel Raz2016-06-09 06:30:00+00:002016-06-09 06:30:00addTag11Added tag - grades 9-12arazAriel Raz2016-06-09 06:29:55+00:002016-06-09 06:29:55addTag10Added tag - student curriculumarazAriel Raz2016-06-09 06:29:51+00:002016-06-09 06:29:51addTag9Added tag - 1-weekarazAriel Raz2016-06-09 06:28:21+00:002016-06-09 06:28:21addTag8Added tag - 2016arazAriel Raz2016-06-09 06:28:18+00:002016-06-09 06:28:18addTag7Removed tag - student workshoparazAriel Raz2016-06-09 06:28:07+00:002016-06-09 06:28:07removeTag6Removed tag - fail forwardarazAriel Raz2016-06-09 06:28:03+00:002016-06-09 06:28:03removeTag5Added tag - student workshoparazAriel Raz2016-06-06 16:37:11+00:002016-06-06 16:37:11addTag4Added tag - fail forwardarazAriel Raz2016-06-06 16:36:53+00:002016-06-06 16:36:53addTag3arazAriel Raz2016-03-14 03:01:39+00:002016-03-14 03:01:39updated2First createdarazAriel Raz2016-03-14 02:48:24+00:002016-03-14 02:48:24created1wiki2016-03-14T03:01:39+00:00groups/k12/wiki/0502dFalseMt. 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