One of our recent Eurekaha sessions focused in interviewing skills for research. In this post I will share my thoughts and observations from this session and on how these skills will benefit the students in other aspects of their education, career and life.
Later in the Eurekaha programme the students will be undertaking a complex challenge using the Design Thinking skills and techniques they are currently learning. During these missions the students will interview stakeholders to gain insights and information that will help them better understand the problem to be solved.
During the interview for research session, we exposed the team to the following:
- The purpose of interviewing for research
- What should the interviewer do before, during and after an interview
- Types of questions, and combination techniques that enable the necessary research information to be gained from the interview
- Putting these skills and techniques into practice in a safe environment – learning by doing
These interactive sessions provided a rich opportunity to explore the benefits of these skills to the teams future careers, not to mention general life:
- Developing and sustaining relationships – the students learned about the value of preparing for an interview. This included how to build and maintain rapport, how to plan and ask different types of questions to gather/probe for research information, how to actively listen, challenge constructively, and how to close out an interview to sustain the relationship for any potential future conversations.
- Receiving and acting on feedback – learning by doing, undertaking an interview practice activity, the students were split into pairs – each pair working with one of the Eurekaha team – they prepared, and interviewed us, for information from our experiences and backgrounds that could help them consider how to develop their own careers. They demonstrated excellent application of the skills and techniques, and a great willingness to learn from the feedback given by us at the end of each interview.
The session enabled the students to better prepare for interviews, both as interviewer and interviewee. The frequent and continued application of these skills, and the associated learning from the experiences, in all aspects of their further education, careers and life in general will result in increased self-confidence, more engaging conversations, continued knowledge exchange and personal growth.