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INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES

Paper presented by
Muhammad Kudu Abubakar
General Manager, NTA Parliament Channel, Abuja

On

Behalf of

Mallam Musa Mayaki

Ag Director General, Nigerian Television Authority


Headquarters, Abuja.

For

Course 22 Participants of the National Defence College Abuja, Nigeria.

Date: Monday, 23rd September, 2013.


INTRODUCTION

Protocol:
Let me convey my Director Generals compliments and appreciation to the
Commandant and principal officers of the National Defence College, Abuja
Nigeria .
Mallam Musa Mayaki told me to say that he is particularly humbled that,
for two years running, the college found him worthy to be called upon to
deliver this lecture on interview techniques to Course 21 participants and
today Course 22 participants of the National Defence College.
But more importantly, the NTA DG told me to convey his regrets for
inability to deliver the papers himself.
Like in 2012, the lot, again fell on my goodself. I hope at the end, you will
all find the paper useful.
INTERVIEWING TECHNIQUES: AN OVERVIEW

As researchers, it is inevitable that you carry out an interview


in the field during the course of a field research. They might
range from interviewing a respondent for a particular topic.
For instance, "The Insecurity Situation in the Country". We
may say for example: factors responsible for Boko Haram
insurgency in Northern Nigeria. In this Paper, we will attempt
to cover a few of the basics that will make you a better
interviewer. Interview is generally an approach a researcher
uses to illicit information from the targeted interviewee
concerning a phenomenon he /she is dealing with. Interviews
can be conducted in different forms and styles. More
importantly, it is an alternative way of collecting data in a
research or source of information useful to the public.
INFORMATION GATHERING
An interview is an information gathering exercise. That
means that you, as the interviewer, is there to direct and
listen. You know your own views. The interviewee does
not necessarily need to know those views. While you are
talking, and the purpose of an interview is to find out
information from the interviewee. Your role is to keep the
ball rolling down the road. There is an old saying that
when carrying out an interview, you should "speak with
your ears". In other words, if you say something it should
only be because you want to get an answer or response.
TYPES OF INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES
Face-to-face interview have long been the dominant interview technique
in the field of social scientific research as a means of collecting data. It is
also called qualitative research. In the last two decades, telephone
interviewing became more and more common. Due to the explosive
growth of new communication forms, such as computer mediated
communication (for example e-mail and chat boxes), other interview
techniques can be introduced and used within the field of qualitative
research.
For a study in the domain of virtual teams, various communication
possibilities to interview informants as well as face-to-face interviews
can be used.

Key words: interviews, computer mediated communication (CMC),


face-to-face interview, e-mail interview, telephone interview.
Qualitative research interview can simply be defined as "an
interview, whose purpose is to gather descriptions of the
life-world of the interviewee with respect to interpretation
of the meaning of the described phenomena". Collecting
these descriptions can be done in several ways, of which
face-to-face interviews are the most common. Besides Face-
to-Face (FtF) interviews, conducting interviews by telephone
is popular too. But also interviewing using the Internet is
rising. Due to developments in computer technology, all
kinds of computer mediated communication (CMC) tools
have been developed. With CMC is meant: a process where
messages are electronically transferred from a sender to one
or more recipient(s), both in synchronous (in real time) and
in asynchronous (independent from time and place) setting.
In this paper four types of interview techniques will
be compared: FtF interviews, telephone interviews,
MSN messenger interviews, and e-mail interviews.
The focus of this paper is concentrated on the ways
in which the four interview techniques differ from
each other and emphasis would be placed on the
face to face interview as we simultaneously look at
well structured, semi-structured, and un-structured
interview techniques.
We will also examine open ended and closed ended
questions. We shall also highlight the advantages
and disadvantages of all these interview techniques.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Interview Techniques
When comparing the four interview techniques, the
differences in advantages and disadvantages are on one
hand related to their differences on the
dimensions synchronous communication in time and/or
space and asynchronous communication in time and/or
space.
FtF interviews are characterised by synchronous
communication in time and place. MSN messenger and
telephone interviews are characterised by synchronous
communication in time, but asynchronous communication in
place. E-mail interviews are characterised as asynchronous
communication in time and place. One could argue that
MSN messenger and telephone interviews are similarly
characterized.
Face-to-face interviews: Synchronous communication of time and place

As already mentioned, FtF interviews are characterised by


synchronous communication in time and place. Due to this
synchronous communication, as no other interview method FtF
interviews can take its advantage of social cues. Social cues, such
as voice, intonation, body language etc. of the interviewee can give
the interviewer a lot of extra information that can be added to the
verbal answer of the interviewee on a question. Of course the
value of social cues also depends on what the interviewer wants to
know from the interviewee. If the interviewer is seen as a subject,
and as an irreplaceable person, from whom the interviewer wants
to know the attitude towards for example the labour union, then
social cues are very important. When the interviewer interviews an
expert about things or persons that have nothing to do with the
expert as a subject, then social cues become less important.
On the other hand this visibility can lead to disturbing
interviewer effects, when the interviewer guides the
interviewee with his or her behavior in a special direction. This
disadvantage can be diminished by using an interview protocol
and by the awareness of the interviewer of this effect.
In FtF interviews there is no significant time delay between
question and answer; the interviewer and interviewee can
directly react on what the other says or does. An advantage of
this synchronous communication is that the answer of the
interviewee is more spontaneous, without an extended
reflection. But due to this synchronous character of the
medium, the interviewer must concentrate much more on the
questions to be asked and the answers given. Especially when
an unstructured or semi structured interview list is used, and
the interviewer has to formulate questions as a result of the
interactive nature of communication.
Face to face interviews can be tape recorded, of
course with the permission of the interviewee. Using
a tape recorder has the advantage that the interview
report is more accurate than writing out notes. But
tape recording also brings with it the danger of not
taking any notes during the interview. Taking notes
during the interview is important for the interviewer,
even if the interview is tape recorded:
(1) to check if all the questions have been answered,
(2) in case of malfunctioning of the tape recorder.
Another disadvantage of tape recording the interview
is the time a transcription of the tape recording
consumes.
The synchronous communication of time and place in a
FtF interview also has the advantage that the interviewer
has a lot of possibilities to create a good interview
ambience. In other words the interviewer can make more
use of a standardisation of the situation. On the other
hand this synchronous communication of time and place
can bring with it a lot of time and costs. Interviewing an
interviewee in a place some 200 kilometres away will
take a whole day, including travelling and interviewing. It
can even take more days, when the interviewee is ill and
didn't or couldn't reach the interviewer in time to cancel
the interview.
Also the costs, i.e. travelling costs, can become very high in
this way. Doing research by using FtF interviews, which
have to be held all over the globe, as for example is the
case when doing research in the domain of virtual teams,
takes a lot of effort, time and costs, and is therefore almost
impossible for one researcher. The last advantage of this
interview method is that termination of a FtF interview is
easy, compared to other interview methods. In the
interaction between interviewer and interviewee enough
clues can be given that the end of the interview is near, for
example by shuffling the papers and turning off the tape
recorder. An explicit way to terminate the interview is by
thanking the interviewee for cooperation and asking him or
her if there are further remarks that might be relevant to
the topic or the interview process.
Telephone interviews: Synchronous communication of time,
asynchronous communication of place

Due to the asynchronous communication of place, one of


the advantages of telephone interviewing is the
extended access to participants, compared to FtF
interviews. Wide geographical access. People from all over
the globe can be interviewedof course if they have access
to telephone or computer. FtF interviewing can be very
expensive and takes too much time. Hard to reach
populations. It enables researchers to contact populations
that might be difficult to work with on an FtF basis. For
example mothers at home with small children, shift
workers, computer addicts and people with disabilities.
Closed site access. It is a possible means of access to people
on sites, which have closed or limited access (such as
hospitals religious communities, prisons, the military, and
cults).
Sensitive accounts. Some personal issues are so sensitive
that participants might be reluctant to discuss them FtF
with an interviewer.
Access to dangerous or politically sensitive sites. With
telephone, interviewers can interview people living or
working in war zones, or sites where diseases are rife,
without needing to grapple with the dangerand the
bureaucracyof visiting the area.
Although the interviewer can interview people that are not
easy to access, one of the disadvantages of asynchronous
communication of place by telephone is the reduction of
social cues. The interviewer does not see the interviewee,
so body language etc. can not be used as a source of extra
information. But social cues as voice and intonation are still
available. Although social cues are reduced, enough social
cues remain for terminating a telephone interview without
a problem.
Another disadvantage of asynchronous communication of
place is that the interviewer has no view on the situation in
which the interviewee is situated. Because of this the
interviewer has lesser possibilities to create a good interview
ambience. FtF interviews can make more use of
a standardisation of the situation. Due to this lessened
possibility to create a standardisation of the situation with
telephone an extra disadvantage is that the interviewee can
stay "visible" for other employees and managers in the
organisation.
As in FtF interviews synchronous communication of time
implies that interviewer and interviewee can directly react to
what the other says.
This also leads to the advantage that the interviewee
will be more spontaneous in his response and does not
deliberate too long. But on the other hand, the
interviewer has to concentrate much more on the
questions that need to be asked and the answers given.
Another advantage of synchronous communication of
time concerning telephone interviews is, as in FtF
interviews, the interview can be tape recorded. Tape
recording a telephone interview depends on the
equipment. A speakerphone is recommended. As with
FtF interview, the telephone interview is also time
consuming due to the fact that the tape has to be
transcribed.
E-mail interviews: Asynchronous communication of time and place

As with the telephone one of the advantages of e-mail


interviewing, due to asynchronous communication of
place, is the extended access to participants, compared
to FTF interviews. Disadvantage of using e-mail is the
complete lack of social cues. Therefore e-mail
interviewing "provides a limited register for
communication"
Another advantage of asynchronous communication of
place is that disturbing background noises are not
recorded. E-mail interviewing has of course the extra
advantage that the interviewer can formulate the
questions, and the interviewee can answer the
questions at his or her own convenience without noise
disturbance due to independence of place and time.
Asynchronous communication of place also has the advantage
that an e-mail interview can be much cheaper than e.g. a FtF
interview, because there are no travelling costs. On the
other hand this technique can cost a lot of time. Due to the
asynchronous communication of time, the interviewee might
have to wait sometimes for days or weeks before he/she answers
the questions. This does not only lead to the risk that the
interviewee will lose interest in the research, but also to the risk
that the interviewee may forget the reply to questions. Sending
reminders at an appropriate time to the interviewee can reduce
this problem.
With an e-mail interview, synchronous communication of time is
impossible. Although the advantage can be that the interviewee
does not hesitate in giving a socially undesirable answer but the
chance of a spontaneous answer to a question is smaller, because
the interviewee has more time to reflect on the question.
And spontaneity can be the basis for the richness of
data collected in some interviews. It depends of
course on the research questions if this reflective
behaviour is a disadvantage or not. On the other hand
an e-mail interview has the advantage that the
interviewer can take time to respond
Beside face-to-face interview and telephone interview
the use of new communication forms such as e-mail
and MSN messenger opens new ways for qualitative
research workers for data collection. The type of
interview technique chosen by the researcher can
depend upon the advantages and disadvantages,
which are linked to every interview technique.
Using face-to-face interviews for collecting information are preferred,
when social cues of the interviewee are very important information
sources for the interviewer (of course dependent on the research
problem) the interviewer has enough budget and time for travelling, or
the interviewee lives near the interviewer, thus standardisation of the
interview situation is important.
To summarize the aforementioned interview techniques, we should
bear in mind that they share common principles/basics and can be
equally used for conducting interviews in social scientific research.
Important distinctive criterion is however the nature of the information
one wants to obtain, especially the importance of social cues. As
already mentioned, the interviewee is seen as a subject, and as an
irreplaceable person, from whom the interviewer wants to have his or
her opinion. When the interviewer interviews an expert about things or
persons that have nothing to do with the expert, then social cues
become less important. For such situations all the interview techniques
discussed so far are appropriate for use.
SURVEY RESEARCH

In Survey research, an Interview allows the


researcher to interact with the respondents and then
ask questions. Interviews in social science research
are classified as Structured, Semi-structured or Un-
structured. Again like I said earlier, these interviews
could be through computer mediated
communication (CMC) face-to-face, e-mail or
Telephone interview methods.
STRUCTURED INTERVIEW
In a structured interview, the researcher will have a line-up of well-structured and ordered
questions. The questions to be asked during the interview are determined. Questionnaires and
Interview schedule constitutes one of the most important components of structured interview.
For instance, see the following set of questions which appeared to be closed ended as it relates
to the current security challenges in Nigeria.
Have you heard of Boko Haram before?
(a) Yes ( ) (b) No ( )
Can you identify them?
(a) Yes ( ) (b) No ( )
Does Boko Haram have objectives?
(a) Yes ( )
(b) No ( )
Does Boko Haram have any structure?
(a) Yes ( ) (b) No ( )
Does Boko Haram operate based on an ideology?
( a) Yes ( ) (b) No ( )
Does Boko Haram recruit members?
( a) Yes ( ) (b) No ( )
In conducting well structured interview, great care
should be exercised by the researcher to ensure
that, those questions asked were specific and direct
to the subject. There should be logical flow in the
arrangement of the questions as well. Reliability
and validity of the information generated through
well structured interview is largely determined by
the ability and research skills of the researcher to
generate questions that are specifics.
SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW

A researcher may also intend to carry out semi-


structured interviews in a research say again on
Boko Haram. The researcher will bring to the
venue of the interview specific open-ended
questions. During the course of this type of
interview, all specific open-ended questions must
be covered. However, the interviewer is free to
create and ask new questions which in T.V
broadcast we call follow up questions for the
interviewee (respondent) to answer.
When did you hear about Boko haram?

How did you get to know about Boko Haram?

Where is the origin of Boko Haram?

How did Boko Haram originate?

What age group are the Boko haram members?

What are the objectives of Boko Haram?


A good example of a semi-structured interview on
television is the programme one-on-one of NTA Network
Service.
Take one:
UN-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW
In an un-structured interview setting, the researcher does
not bring to the interview venue any pre-determined list of
questions but instead enters the interview venue with one
or more topical issues in mind and then develops the
questions on the spot. This kind of interview requires even
more skills and background knowledge of the research
topic than the semi-structured interview. The interviewer
asks the interviewee (respondent) one or two general
questions and then forms subsequent specific ones.
However, note that unstructured face to face interviews
are often time consuming.
An example of unstructured interview technique/
procedure is on NTAs programme from the National
Assembly:
Take two:
OPEN AND CLOSED ENDED QUESTIONS

Interviews can be either "Open" or "Closed". Usually interviews are a


mixture of both. We will cover how each type of interview is carried
out, and the pros and cons of "Open" versus "Closed". Managing an
Interview around "Open" and "Closed" questions is a key skill of the
interviewer, bearing in mind the topic, problem and objectives of the
research, both general and specifics.

An open interview is one where questions are not specific. That is, it
takes the format of an un-structured interview. They are open-ended
and designed to allow the person to cover a broad range of areas on
the topic. As an example: "Tell me about insecurity?" is an open ended
question. "Nigerian security situation was bad in the last 3 years?" is a
closed ended question.
The first question may take half an hour to answer. The second will
probably take less than a minute.
WHY USE OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS
It all depends on what you already know and what you need to know. If
you are absolutely confident or you are fully briefed on a topic, and there
is only one fact you need to determine, a closed question is preferable. On
the other hand, if your knowledge is sketchy, and you are not even sure
what questions to ask, an
open question is the way to go.
If your respondent tells you that the security challenges in the North,
Boko Haram was as a result of the collapse of social structure. You are
likely to ask follow-up questions like:

Is it the economy that collapsed?


Is it bad governance? Is it entrenched poverty?
Is it the Political institution?
Is it Family decay?
That would be a closed ended question. We would
ask an open-ended question such as asking the
respondent to explain further. At that point he/she
might explain that it is the nature of bad governance
that entrenched injustice in the political institutions
and therefore led poverty. As a result the deprived
ones revolted and led to the present day security
challenges of the Boko Haram. You can then follow up
with more specific closed-ended questions about
what that means to the actual cause of the
phenomenon Boko Haram.
ESSENCE OF OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS IN AN INTERVIEW
The essence of open-ended interview technique is:
1. It gives more information that exists on the topic and not
everything that you desire as an interviewer.
2. Questions move from the general to the specific and back
to the general.

3. Much is deduced from listening and probing. A simple


comment
may indicate an important area to be explored.

4. There are often unforeseen topics raised. Some are relevant


and some may not be relevant. You need to filter and quickly
dismiss the ones that are not relevant.
TIPS FOR OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS
Here are a number of tips for asking open ended questions;
1. Think if the person can answer "yes" or "no". If, they can,
it is not an open ended question.
2. If the person provides a wandering answer, or a 'brain
dump'
offer a summary of the question - let the interviewees
confirm its
accuracy. "If I understand what you are saying ...
3. Allow ample opportunity for 'and also' issues to be raised
at the
end of the interview or afterwards. People answering open
ended
questions tend to remember facts as they go along.
ESSENCE OF CLOSED ENDED QUESTIONS IN AN
INTERVIEW

In using the closed ended interview method,


you might ask thus;
Poor upbringing can breed Boko Haram
recruits?
The question presumes and prompts a
yes/no answer. It also offers a quick and
easy interview, requiring minimum
reflection and analysis.
TIPS FOR CLOSED-ENDED QUESTIONS
As mentioned, closed ended questions in
interviews are useful when you are trying to
find out one fact. You know precisely the
question to ask and not the possible answers.
They are also useful in clarifying facts in an
open interview. As people cover topics
broadly, you might grab one point and want to
understand it more clearly. You want to drill
down on a particular aspect.
For example, you asked a question on how effective were the
findings of the high powered committee in solving the
Nigerian security challenges? The respondent may give you a
full briefing on all the reports, and the implications. They
mention the causes, situation that led to Boko Haram in the
North and the findings on how to overcome the Boko Haram
Phenomenon. You might ask a
Closed ended question about:
Who receives the report?
Closed ended questions allow you to drill down on a piece of
information.
It is more likely that closed ended questions will be more
Spontaneous than open ended questions. As the open ended
question draws out the big picture, you want to closely
examine bits of the picture with closed-ended questions.
ON THE SPOTS
Closed ended questions can put people on the spot. They can
almost sound like they were fired by the researcher:
Where do they keep their ammunitions?
"Who sponsors Boko Haram?"

The result is the same as in a trial. The person becomes


defensive. They try to find a way out of any admission or
commitment. A better approach is to use an open question
that allows people ample time to maneuver or qualify their
answer. You can tighten up the response with closed
questions based around the answer.
For example:
"How did you first come to suspect certain
activities of the Boko Haram?"
"If we need people to assist on how to
overcome Boko Haram, would you be able to
help?"

In both cases, an open-ended question allows


the person to answer without feeling threatened
or ambushed. You avoid the instinctive "flight or
fight".
MAKING PEOPLE COMFORTABLE
A technique used by television interviewers is to ask a number of
easy questions to relax the person before hitting them with the big
one:
So your name is Thomas?
How long have you lived here Thomas?
Are you married?
How many Children do you have?
Then "So tell us about your masterminding of the attack?"
Use the relaxing questions to start your interview. If the person is at all
apprehensive at the start of an interview, a few questions to loosen them up
will help later in the discussion.
Imagine you are being interviewed and you are feeling a little nervous or
unsure about the area under discussion. You might not even know exactly
why you are being interviewed. If the person starts by explaining the
purpose of the interview then asks a few easily answered questions, you
start to relax and will become more likely to assist the person.
FOLLOW THE DOTS
An agenda is a great tool, in most circumstances. If you are having a
regular review meeting and have a range of regular topics to cover,
an agenda is a great roadmap:
Point 1;
point 2;
point 3.
If on the other hand it is an open discussion, an agenda may be an
impediment. The interviewee may want to talk about point 1 and 7
because he sees them as related. The discussion is roaming around
the topic, and it might not fit into neat compartments.
In this case, you are to use the agenda as a checklist. It does not
have to be strictly followed. It can be a list of topics you want to
have covered at the end of the interview. As the interview draws to
a close, go over the agenda and see if any points still needs
discussion. It takes some skills to treat an agenda as a set of
boundaries rather than a roadmap. If you can develop those skills,
the results can be excellent.
SUMMARISING

Sometimes people lose the trend of what


they are saying. Their mind is wandering
down a path and they forget where they
have been or are going. It is useful to
sometimes stop and summarize what you
think has been said. It is double purposed.
Firstly it confirms what has been said, and
secondly it re-focuses the person.
ACTIVE LISTENING
It is a fact that most people want to be listened to. It is
important to feel that the person is mentally still with us as
we speak. The occasional nod of the head or confirmation
of a point helps people feel their comments are valued. Be
sure to respond to people or they will stop contributing
and want to terminate the interview.
Writing things down will assist in convincing people their
input is of value.
This is relevant particularly, when the interview session is
face-to-face or in a focus group type of discussion like on
NTAs Current Affairs Programme Platform:
Take three:
ANSWER THE QUESTION
Watch a politician answer a question and you will often find
they don't answer the question. Their Techniques include:
"That is a good point but before I answer that let me say ...
and of course they never get back to the question.
"I want to make three points ... none of which are relevant
to the question "Why would you ask me that?" In other
words, let's argue about whether you should ask the question
rather than try and answer it.
If you cannot get an answer to a question, try to understand
why the person is uncomfortable to provide an answer. It may
just be that they forgot the original question and went off on
a different track. On the other hand, they may well have
something they don't want to tell you. Sometimes
understanding the reason for the interviewee not answering,
in fact answers the question.
BODY LANGUAGE

Very few people can hide body language. You


do not have to be an expert to read it as we
all do to some extent. The eyes looking
around the room for an answer; folded arms
in a defensive position; legs crossed towards
you for trust and away for mistrust.
STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE LISTENING IN CONDUCTING AN
INTERVIEW

Stop. Focus on the interviewee, their thoughts and feelings.


Consciously focus on quieting your own internal commentary, and
step away from your own concerns to think about those of the
interviewee. Give your full attention to the interviewee.
Look. Pay attention to non-verbal messages, without letting yourself
be distracted. Notice body language and non-verbal clues to allow
for a richer understanding of what the interviewee is trying to
communicate. However, avoid getting distracted from the verbal
message.
Listen. Listen for the essence of the interviewee's thoughts: details,
major ideas and their meanings. Seek an overall understanding of
what the interviewee is trying to communicate, rather than reacting
to the individual words or terms that they use to express
themselves.
Be empathic. Imagine how you would feel in
their circumstances.

Be emphatic to the feelings of the interviewee,


while maintaining calmness within you
Ask questions. Use questions to clarify your
understanding of, as well as to demonstrate
interest in what is being said. Lets take a look at
this excerpt from a Presidential media chat:
Take four:
BARRIERS TO ACCURATE PERCEPTION IN AN
INTERVIEW
Stereotyping and generalizing. The interviewer should
be careful
not to hold on to perceptions about people or things.
He often have a tendency to see what he want to see,
forming an impression from small amount of
information or one experience, and assuming that to be
highly representative of the whole person or situation.
Not investing time. Making assumptions and ignoring
details or circumstances by the interviewer can lead to
misconceptions. When the interviewer fails to look in-
depth for causes or circumstances, he misses important
details.
Having a distorted focus. The interviewer has to
bear in mind that focusing on the negative aspects of
a conversation or situation is a habit common to
many people. Even though we may recognize the
positive things we often give more weight to the
negative (That is one negative comment
overshadows numerous positive ones).
Assuming similar interpretations. Not everyone will
draw same conclusions from a given situation or set
of information. Everybody interprets things
differently. Therefore, the interviewer has to make
sure he checks for the interviewee's interpretations,
and be explicit about his own.
INDEPENDENT INTERVIEWER
It is so amazing that sometimes people say out some
things that are so confidential. Even though it might
not be attributed to them in a report, people often
say things to an outsider they would never say to
their peers. If the researcher is not independent, he
is usually viewed as not coming to support any
entrenched point of view. In fact, from a researcher
credibility point of view, it does you no good to go
into an interview situation to reinforce a particular
person's case if you do not believe it to be valid. A
researcher does investigation and not lobbying.
TIME MANAGEMENT IN CONDUCTING AN INTERVIEW
Time is constant. There are 24 hours in a day, no more,
no less. All accomplishments in life, other than that
which results by accident, passes three stages: the goal,
the plan, and the action. By maintaining this sequence,
you can better organize yourself to squeeze more out of
those 24 hours.
Time management ability is core to the effectiveness and
success of the interviewer during the conduct of an
interview. The more you gain time, the more you will
accomplish a successful interview. A task list is essential
to achieve optimum time management. It is an inventory
that serves as a supplementary to memory, which is
crossed successively through stages of the interview. It
helps in sticking to the priorities of the interview.
Time management aids the elimination of tasks that do
not add value to the interview.
According to F. John Reh, there are three secrets to time
management. These are:
(i) Using your limited amount of time on the most
important things;
(ii) Ensuring that time is used efficiently by avoiding
distractions;
(iii) Ensuring that you actually do what is intended instead
of talking or thinking about it. i.e get it done

Note that it is very easy to loose focus and spend time on


things that are not important. The focus should be on the
most important things.
There are techniques that aid the achievement of this, which
have proven very successful. They are called the four Ds-
Desire, Decision, Discipline, and determination.
i. Desire: You must have a great desire to control your time, and
achieve maximum effectiveness and relevance.
ii. Decision: There must be a clear decision on the use of time
and its practical application until it becomes a habit.
iii. Discipline: You must discipline yourself and consciously
observe time-tables as a regular `practice in your day-to-day
activities.
iv. Determination: You must be willing to persist in the face of
all temptation to the contrary until you have become an
effective time manager.
CONCLUSION
It is surprising how many people think that an interview is just
a Garden side chat. The dynamics are far more complex. Think
about your own interviewing technique and use some of these
ideas to improve it in the course of your field exercise. Not
only during a research situation, it is also important for your
career path as you sometimes may likely be interviewed by
senior officers.
The interview is often the only real exposure you have for
them to form an opinion of you. If a promotion comes up and
you have just bungled your way through a poor interview with
a senior officer, your chances of getting a promotion are slim.
On the other hand if you have managed to direct the interview
in a manner that impressed the officers, your chances are
enhanced.
The following questions are crucial: Ponder over them:
You have conducted an interview, then so what?
Why must you interview the interviewee?
Why not any one on the street?
Who should be the interviewee?
What will you do with the data so collected?

I believe these five questions are relevant to the Research


Project, you are all expected to conduct, submit and defend
as participants of Course 22, of the National Defence College.

I wish you all the best !