Select one topic from each and discuss its relevance to your experience interviewing leaders. The following are two examples:
o New Business Realities: Did the interview reflect the dynamics of transformational change in complex systems in the change mastery
o Thinking Habits: Did the interview encourage professional self-development through conversational reflection in the questions on
Self-Reflection: Self-assess your experience as an interviewer. What seemed to work? What did not work? What would you do differently
next time? How would you change your explanation of your leadership topic, the medium you chose, or your behavior during the interview, to
enhance the quality of your data? What did you learn about interviewing? What did you learn about your topic and its potential for helping
leaders examine their leadership skills and characteristics?
Summary Statement: Think about your experience interviewing leaders at this level. Describe the primary lessons you gained from this
experience, the value of interviewing leaders, and the impact this approach has on leadership development. Include your recommendations to your
current organization or an organization with which you are familiar about the development of leaders at this level and on your mastery topic
and the use of interviews to propel personal development.
• Length: Your assessment should be 9 pages, double-spaced.
• Font and size: Use Times New Roman. The font size must be 12 point.
• Margins: The paper margins should be 1 inch on each side.
• Components: Include a title page, table of contents, and reference page. These do not count toward the paper length.
• Formatting: APA format is required for all aspects of your analysis, including citations and references. Your writing should be well
organized and clear. Writing structure, spelling, and grammar should be correct as well.
Fast and flexible — information interviewing is a useful research tool. Good investigative reporters use information
interviewing to ferret out a story, and talk-show hosts use interviewing to inform and entertain. You may want to
interview someone to find out more about a potential career, or you may conduct multiple interviews as part of a
broader research project.
To conduct effective information interviews follow these basic steps:
1. Plan for the interview. Use the 5 W’s (why, what, who, when, and where) to develop good questions.
Then prepare an interview guide.
2. Prepare for the interview. Identify potential interview candidates, obtain their consent, and schedule the
3. Conduct the interview. Use questioning and listening skills to zero in on important interview topics. Take
notes. Send a thank you note.
4. Analyze the interview content.
5. Report your findings or incorporate them into other documents.
6. Follow-up. If appropriate, share results with the person you’ve interviewed.
1. Plan for the Interview
Appropriate planning can make the difference between a useful information interview and one that is a waste of
time. Use the journalist’s 5 W’s to help you plan.
Clearly define your interview purpose and objectives:
¾ What knowledge gaps are you trying to address?
¾ What will you do with the interview information when you’ve finished?
¾ Do you need to:
o Obtain information unavailable from other sources?
o Verify other findings?
o Add credibility to conclusions you’ve drawn?
o Obtain names of additional contacts?
o Find additional resources – books, periodicals, associations, web sites?
Tip: Limit the number of your interview objectives to about 3-5.
Develop an interview guide.
¾ Identify questions to support each of your major objectives. Your questions should address topics
specifically related to your objective. Let’s say you wanted to identify additional information resources.
You would ask for recommended books, periodicals, Internet sites, and associations.
¾ The structure of your questions is important.
Use open-ended questions to get the person talking and to obtain more information. Basic open-ended
questions start with the words: who, what, when, where, why and how. The questions “what, why, and
how” are especially powerful for eliciting information.