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October 12, 2011

Experts' Expert: Errol Morris on how to interview someone

Screen Shot 2011-10-05 at 9.55.08 PM

Long story from Bloomberg Businessweek short: "Shut up and listen."

Other observations by Morris:

I think an interview, properly considered, should be an investigation. You shouldn't know what the interview will yield. Otherwise, why do it at all?

I started developing the shut-up-and-listen school of interviewing in the 1970s. The cassette tapes got longer and longer — first 30 minutes, then 60, then 120 — and the number of words I spoke became fewer and fewer. I was really proud of the interviews where my voice wasn’t on the tape at all.

Be well prepared, though. I’m surprised at how many people don’t prepare.

I never go into an interview with a preconceived set of questions.

Don’t be afraid of technology. Technology limits things, but it makes other things possible.

October 12, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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And, then there are the interviewed... Those of real intellect can lead the interviewer into asking them the question that they want to answer.

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Oct 12, 2011 11:42:31 AM

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