The Art of the Interview
This obligates you to listen and to continue the conversation at the point they left off. It’s your job to make the flow as seamless as possible while covering all the areas you need to. But make it flow naturally.
What people say is often not a reflection of what they feel and your eyes will be the best guide to body language that supports or refutes it. Their posture and facial expressions will reveal as much, or maybe more, than their words. All senses should act as a kind of psychic antenna and pick up clues as to their state of mind.
We all feel more trusting and open if the relationship is somewhat equal and the conversation is not just one sided. Express your empathy, even reveal a similar experience but do something to let your subject know that you get it. They mustn’t feel like they have been ‘taken in for questioning’ and you are not any form of Supreme Being.
Whenever you ask real people if they are comfortable with others being present they will always feel obliged to say yes. They don’t mean this; they just don’t want to be rude.
The subject will quite often sense that more is needed and be more forthcoming. Silence can be your friend.
Nothing of much significance gets revealed if you’re stern or indifferent. So stay relaxed, informal and conversational.
If you aren’t, they will sense this and will resist sharing sensitive information.