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Subject:Re: The Covert Interview From:Jan Boomsliter <boom -at- CADENCE -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 5 Jan 1995 10:10:19 -0800
When I was contracting, therefore interviewing a lot, a frequent
question had to do with how to get info from engineers. That question
was always followed by or included in an oh-so-softly-pedalled query
about "getting along" with engineers.
I knew what they were talking about and why they were asking. I have
my stories, too. But what I answered, and what has always worked for
me, is: people who like what they do like to talk about it. Lots. So
I get them talking and I listen. As I get to know the person I can
start directing the conversation without being abrupt, thus using our
I'm glad you are writing this. I think you've got a winner.
"By expressing interest in or admiration for the software (or
whatever) or by asking a particularly astute question, one can
sometimes elicit an almost overwhelming flow of information from
engineers who, when they know they are being 'interviewed,' are
reticent or even rude."