10 - How I start the interview - Great Softball Question

The first question that I start off with almost everyone is what's your name and what is your role here? And I just let them go with that. Generally speaking it's usually a very good response that I get to that if I need to get more detail if they're sort of parroting talking points here and they don't have to be. For instance there are some instances where they're just going to have talking points and that's it. And you're just basically pressing record and you don't even need to be there other than to guide them to what the next question is. Those are not testimonials but in testimonials where someone needs a little bit of help. A great question is when you ask them what's your name and what's your role here. And they give you sort of the jargon answer or the bullet point answer talking points.

How would you explain that to a fifth grader so someone who is having a challenge coming across with something other than talking points? Who wants to make that connection but just doesn't know how to answer that question because they've never really thought about it before? When you say what's your name and what's your role here? They come across those talking points. These are two great questions to follow. You say How would you explain that to a first grader. Now a lot of times depending on who you are working with and this is true especially when I work with research scientists. That's a good question. A lot of times a better question might be how would you explain this to someone from outside your field? The difference is is that the first grader example sometimes depending on who the person is they might come with with something that is a little bit too below where you need it to be. Whereas when you say explain it to someone who is outside your field they're looking at that person as a here but who doesn't have the same level of jargon and same level of insider knowledge? So depending on who you're working with those are two really great great questions to get them to really help you understand what it really is that they do there as opposed to just their name and title.

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