The Interview Plan


Most interview search procedures require all information sources to be examined to ensure that all information about the system is gathered. They suggest that this information be sought in a top-down way to gradually build up the system model.

The interview plan specifies :

  • the user to be interviewed.
  • the sequence in which the users are interviewed; and
  • the interview plan for each user.

The first step in developing an interviewing plan is to identify the users to be interviewed. An organization chart can be used to identify the users. This chart describes the organizations units, the positions in these units and each positions occupant.

It is usually wise to begin interviewing at the top levels of the organizational areas, in order to get support and cooperation from management before beginning to look into particular organizational activities or suggesting new solutions.

The interview process follows a fairly structured path. Usually, the analyst begins with an initial interview to meet the users. This fast interview is then followed by a number of fact gathering interviews to gather all the major facts known to the user. Then there may be one or more follow-up interviews to verify these facts and any models developed by the analyst and to gain additional information to complete the analyst’s study.

The interview Structure

It is necessary to proceed in an orderly manner to get the best out of interview. Figure below illustrates a procedure that has been found effective over time.

A typical Interview

For e.g., An analyst will have to introduce themselves at the first interview. Then some interview criteria may be identified. These include the length of the interview and what you expect to get from it, as well as obtaining permission to take any notes or make recordiligs.

Once the preliminaries are over, the main part of interview can begin. The interview should be concluded by summarizing what is found out in interview and confirming it. Finally, it is usually a good idea to arrange time for next interview if this is considered necessary.

The Art of Interviewing

Interviewing is an art. Few analyst learn it in school, but most of them develop expertise through experience. The interviewer’s art consist of creating a perceiye situation in which the answers offered are.reliable. Respondents opinions are offered with no fear of being criticized by others. Primary requirements for a successful interview are to create a friendly atmosphere and to put the respondent at ease. Then the interview proceeds with asking questions properly, obtaining reliable responses, and recording them accurately and completely.

Arranging the Interview

The interview should be arranged so that the physical location time of the interview, and order of interviewing assure privacy and minimal interruption. Appointments should be made well in advance and a fixed time period adhered to as closely as possible. Interview schedules generally begins at the top of the organization structure and work down – so as not to offend anyone. A successful interview will involve selecting appropriate individuals to interview, preparing extensively for the interview, conducting the interview properly and following up on the interview. Following are the steps :

  • Select interviewees
  • Prepare for the interview
  • Conduct the interview
  • Follow up on the interview

Guides to a Successful Interview

In an interview, the following steps should be taken :

  • Set the stage for the interview : The analyst conduct the interview by focussing on (a) the purpose of the interview (b) why the subject was selected (c) the confidential nature of the interview. During stage setting, the interviewer evaluates the cooperation of the interviewee. Both the content and tone of the responses are evaluated.
  • Establishing rapport, put the interviewee at ease : Assuring interviewee’s confidentiality that no information they offer will be released to unauthorised personnels.
  • Phrase questions clearly and succinctly : (Asking the questions) It is important that each question is asked exactly as it is worded. The questions must also be asked in the same order as they appear on the interview schedule.
  • Obtaining and recording the response : (Be a good listener, avoid argument) Interviewer’s must be prepared to coax respondents to elicit further information when For e.g., I seen what you mean could you elaborate further on that ?
  • Evaluate the outcome of the interview : Many system studies fail because of poor data recording. Care must be taken to record the data, their sources and the time of If there is no record of a conversation, the analyst runs the risk of not remembering enough details, attributing them to the wrong source, or otherwise distorting the data.


Interview is generally recognized as the most important fact finding technique. Interview involves eliciting requirements through direct, face-to-face interaction. Interviewing can be used to achieve goals such as find facts, verify facts, clarify facts, generate enthusiasm, get the end user involved. There are two roles assumed in an interview : the system analyst is the interviewer, responsible for organizing and conducting the interview. The system user is the interviewee who is asked to respond to a series of questions.

Advantages –

(1 ) Interviews give the analyst an opportunity to motivate the interviewee to respond freely and openly to questions.

  • Interview allows the system analyst to probe for more feedback from the
  • Interviews permit the system analyst to adapt or reward questions for each
  • Interviews give the analyst an opportunity to observe the interviewee’s non-verbal communication.


  • Interviewing is very time consuming and therefore a costly, fact finding
  • Success of interviews is highly dependent on the system analyst’s human relations skills.
  • Interviewing may be impractical due to the location of interviewees.

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