Conducting an Interview

How are questions constructed?

How should they be sequenced?
How should questions be phrased?
Should open-ended questions be used?
What is active listening?
Is paraphrasing beneficial?
What if there are distractions in the interview location?

When a law enforcement agent interviews a suspect about a crime that has occurred, one effective interview technique is to build rapport with the suspect by asking relatively benign questions. After “befriending” the suspect, the agent then confronts the suspect head-on about the crime or, in some cases, the suspect may confess his or her guilt. Had the law enforcement agent not used effective interview techniques, the confession may never have occurred.

There are multiple interviewing techniques, just like this one, that can and should be used in order to gather as much accurate information as possible.

For this assignment, review THE ART OF INTERVIEWING transcript (ATTACHED) and compare the strengths and limitations of interviewer and interviewee skills. Based on what you read in your Weekly Learning Resources, consider how interviewing techniques could be used to interview a person you might be interested in interviewing for this Assignment.

The Assignment (1–2 pages)

After reading your resources this week, create a list of questions and conduct an interview with a family member or a friend. Take notes on the responses given by the interviewee. Do not submit the interviewee’s name or responses.You must, however, analyze the responses in order to complete the assignment.

  • Submit the list of interview questions you developed. Be sure to omit any interviewee responses.
  • Explain the purpose of each question
  • Based on the interviewee’s responses, explain whether or not the questions were interpreted by the interviewee as you intended them to be interpreted
  • Explain any revisions you may make to the interviewing questions to make them clearer and more effective. If no revisions are necessary, explain why.
  • Using your reading assigned for this week, please identify the interview techniques you used during the interview and explain whether or not they were effective

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course


  • Colwell, K., Hiscock, C. K., & Memon, A. (2002). Interviewing techniques and the assessment of statement credibility. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 16(3), 287–300.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

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