The Very Successful Interviewer gets people to tell things that they didn't want to tell.
The Very Successful Interviewer knows how to make the interviewee feel comfortable.
The Very Successful Interviewer lets the interviewee know that he or she understands the interviewee's position and point of view.
The Very Successful Interviewer is cheerful, friendly, courteous, kind, and respectful.
The Very Careful Interviewer knows how to put sensitive questions clearly, but with tact. Often the Very Successful Interviewer will have worked out the wording of the "tough" questioins in advance.(A good place to write them is inside the cover of your notebook, where Very Successful Interviewers also make a little list of the things they need to find out in the interview.
The Very Succesful Interviewer knows how to use periods of silence to his or her advantage.
Some Very Successful Interviewers are very confident, affable and outgoing; some are klutzy, unintimidating, and may seem to need help. Know which kind you are and be it. (And whichever kind you are, remember that some of the best appeals to an interviewee often start, "I need your help . . ." Everyone wants to help someone who needs help.).
All Very Successful interviewers are keen observers of the interviewee always on the lookout for little tics and nervous habits. They notice if a woman is always pushing her hair out of her eye (even when her hair is not near her eye). They notice if fingernails have been bitten, they watch to see if the interviewee pulls on his ear (often a sign that he or she is lying), they listen for nervous coughing during an answer (a warning sign), or inappropriate laughter (indficating extreme nervousness).
The Very Successful Intervierer is always listening for a great (or even a good) quote -- and writes it down right away.) Very Successful Interviewers take careful, accurate notes, but don't get so absorbed in doing so that they stop paying attention to what the interviewee is saying and doing.
All Very Successful Interviewers make eyeball-to-eyeball contact with the interviewee -- and notice if the intervieweee won't look them in the eye. But the Very Successful Interviewer is also very careful not to do anythjing to make the interviewee nervous or uncomfortable other than the questions he or she is asking.(Don't, for example, pick your nose or slip your shoes off.)
Very Successful Interviewers know that often they will have more questions (or that they have forgotten to ask something important), and so always say at the end of the interview, "I hope I can call you if any other questions come up," or something to that effect.
But, most of all, the Very Successful Interviewer knows that there are times when the rules must be broken, and is always ready in case the interview goes in an interesting direction he or she didn't expect. The Very Successful Interviewer is both prepared --and flexible.