The Indepth Interview

To establish the rapport required for a good interview, begin by having (or cultivating) a genuine interest in the person or subject of your interview. If your interest is nonexistent or minimal, it will show in your voice, in your eyes, in your body language, in the framing of your original questions—and certainly in your responses as the interview progresses. If you can bring sincerity and empathy into the interview, you'll be 80 percent there. Sincerity, empathy, and genuine personal interest are the ingredients that promote trust and rapport with the interviewee. And be wise in how you conduct yourself. If you are doing multiple interviews about the same person or topic, word will get around quickly that you are interviewing. If you do poorly, for whatever reason, with the first several interviews, you'll enter subsequent interviews at a distinct disadvantage. If you have been too pushy, judgmental, or insensitive, or if you've spoken ill of the first interviewee to the second one, imagine your reception and lack of rapport with interviewee number three. People will open up fully only with someone careful, trustworthy, and sensitive.

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