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image Interviews are eliciting information from a person or group of people in an informal or formal setting by asking relevant questions and recording the responses.

An interview is a systematic approach designed to elicit business analysis information from a person or group of people by talking to the interviewee(s),
asking relevant questions, and documenting the responses. The interview can also be used for establishing relationships and building trust between business analysts
and stakeholders in order to increase stakeholder involvement or build support for a proposed solution.

The interview is a common technique for eliciting requirements. It involves direct communication with individuals or groups of people who are part of an
 initiative. In an interview, the interviewer directs questions to stakeholders in order to obtain information. One-on-one interviews are the most common.
 In a group interview (with more than one interviewee in attendance), the interviewer is careful to elicit responses from each participant.
There are two basic types of interviews used to elicit business analysis information: • Structured Interview: in which the interviewer has a predefined set of questions.
 • Unstructured Interview: in which the interviewer does not have a predetermined format or order of questions. Questions may vary based on interviewee responses and interactions.

Successful interviewing depends on factors such as: • level of understanding of the domain by the interviewer,
• experience of the interviewer in conducting interviews, • skill of the interviewer in documenting discussions,
• readiness of the interviewee to provide the relevant information and the interviewer to conduct the interview,
• degree of clarity in the interviewee’s mind about the goal of the interview, and • rapport of the interviewer with the interviewee.

.1 Interview Goal When planning interviews, business analysts consider: • the overall purpose of performing a set of interviews, based on a business need, and • the individual goals for each interview, based on what the interviewee can provide. The goals are to be clearly expressed and communicated to each interviewee. .
2 Potential Interviewees Potential interviewees are identified with the help of the project manager, project sponsors, and other stakeholders, based on the goals for the interview. .
3 Interview Questions Interview questions are designed according to the interview goals, such as: • collecting data, • researching the stakeholder’s view of the change or proposed solution, • developing a proposed solution, or • building rapport with or support for the proposed solution from the interviewee.

Open-ended questions are used to elicit a dialogue or series of steps and cannot be answered in a yes or no fashion.
Open-ended questions are a good tool to allow the interviewee to provide information of which the interviewer may be unaware.
Closed questions are used to elicit a single response such as yes, no, or a specific number.
Closed questions can be used to clarify or confirm a previous answer.
The interview questions are often organized based on priority and significance.
Examples of question order include general to specific, start to finish, and detailed to summary.
Questions can also be organized based on factors such as the interviewee's level of knowledge and the subject of the interview.
Ensuring a successful interview requires attention to logistics that include:
• The location for the interview. The interview is adapted to the schedule and availability of the interviewee and the mode of communication (in-person, phone, or online conferencing).
• Whether or not to record the interview, which may require the use of a scribe.
• Whether or not to send the questions to the interviewees in advance. Sending questions in advance is advisable only when the interviewee needs to collect information to prepare for the interview.
• Whether the interview results will be confidential and, if so, how the results will be summarized to avoid identifying individual interviewees.

Opening the interview includes: • describing the purpose of the interview, including why the interviewees' time is needed,
• confirming the interviewees' roles and addressing any initial concerns raised by the interviewees, and
• explaining how information from the interview will be recorded and shared with the interviewees and other stakeholders during the project. During the interview, the interviewer:
• maintains focus on the established goals and predefined questions, and adapts based upon the information provided and non-verbal communication from the interviewees,
• considers both the willingness of the interviewees to participate in the interview and to provide the required information,
• considers that several meetings might be required to conduct the entire interview,
• manages concerns raised by the interviewees by addressing them during the interview or documenting them for follow-up,

Closing the interview includes: • asking the interviewees for areas that may have been overlooked in the session,
• providing contact information for the interviewees to follow up with additional information after the meeting as needed,
• summarizing the session, • outlining the process for how the interview results will be used, and
• thanking the interviewees for their time.

It is important for the interviewer to organize the information and confirm results with the interviewees as soon as possible after the interview.
Sharing the information that has been learned allows the interviewees to point out any missed or incorrectly recorded items.


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