How to Successfully Conduct an Interview

17 Apr

Students around the world seek to master the dreaded interview process, though few consider the value in mastering the other side of the table – as the interviewer. Most interviewing opportunities actually take place outside the job-hunting process, especially for those conducting research. Interviewing can turn a mediocre research papers, honors theses, or independent study projects (for those studying abroad) into something special. Working on a few simple tips for before and during the interview will turn any novice interviewer into a professional, so why not practice them?


Preparing for an interview may seem obvious, but few interviewers prepare adequately. In addition to significantly increasing the chances of a successful interview, good preparation shows the interviewee that you respect them and take the interview seriously. Some easy ways to prepare include:

  • Find out as much as possible about your interviewee
  • Prepare 15-20 questions beforehand
  • Force the interviewee to give more than “yes” or “no” answers by asking open-ended questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why?

During the interview

Interestingly, listening is the most important skill for realizing the most value out of an interview. Many interviewers turn their ears off during the interview and elect to stick to only the prepared questions. But what if an interviewee says something particularly interesting or quirky? Asking follow-up questions may be the next step towards getting a sensational scoop.  A successful interviewer must allow the interview to take its natural course.


Problems arise constantly in the business world, such as feuds between employees or problems with suppliers, but good interviewing skills will actually help to alleviate these issues. Since good interviewing skills promote better responses from the interviewee, managers will achieve more in-depth inquiries about the various problems at hand. So become a master interviewer to bring your problem-solving skills to the next level.

For more information about effective interviewing visit for an insightful video featuring Katie Couric or visit

by Sam Johnson


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