Errol Morris And His Interview Process

Every week, I am reminded that my dad is a business professor when my copy of Bloomberg Businessweek arrives in my mailbox.┬áMost of the time I skim through the magazine, hoping that there is something that interests me. However, this week’s issue was different, I read almost the whole issue. Touted as Bloomberg Businessweek‘s First Annual ‘How To’ Guide, articles ranged from how to pay someone and how to concentrate, to how to give away $5 billion and how to buy a suit. A lot of interesting business and economy-related topics that could almost be confused with Wired Magazine‘s “How-To Guides” they publish, but I digress.

My favorite article of the bunch was “How To Interview Someone” by Errol Morris, the director of The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War. His interview process starts and ends with a very simple, yet profound approach: “Shut up and listen.”

Other pearls: “Be well prepared” and “I never go into an interview with a preconceived set of questions.”

Morris has great insight into better conducting an interview and I highly recommend that you read his article in detail. Need to practice some of these techniques? Go out for a cup of coffee with a friend, ask an off-the-cuff question, shut up and listen. If anything, you’ll hear an interesting story.