… I was left with the interesting realization that I’d had a terrible experience interviewing someone I agreed with, and a positive experience interviewing someone whose views were in some ways diametrically opposed to my own (as well as an overwhelming sense of relief that I wasn’t a giant failure as an interviewer).
This highlights the complex nature of the factors that go into producing a ‘successful’ (or at least comfortable) interview. Previously, I’d felt most comfortable talking to people who I knew shared my views on certain things, because we could ‘riff’ on familiar concepts. But clearly there’s more to it than that.
The Research Whisperer blog shares a post by an anonymous author researching a social issue in Australia who outlines their curious experience with two interviews, one negative and uncomfortable, one positive and enlightening, and asks why that was the case. Why was one interview more successful and productive than another?
We auditors regularly interview people in our line of work, and a great deal of very pertinent information is collected that way. It may be helpful to look back on the interviews we have done and dig into that ‘why.’