Successful Research Interviews: Remote & Stress-free

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How to lead interviews well is a huge topic in itself and you can learn some awesome tips here from my colleague Adela.

Now, with more than 3 years spent on the home office, let’s focus on online interviews only. There are a few things that might come in handy when meeting with someone online.✨

💛 Prepare the tech.

It happened to me several times when I was setting up Zoom or allowing the screen share or dealing with dead batteries in my headphones. All of that last minute! Leave the stress behind and anticipate tech problems.

💛 Turn your camera on. Don’t force your participant to turn it on too, though.

Participants sometimes connect audio-only. If you have your camera on, you might actually inspire them to turn it on too. But don’t point it out–you never know what is the reason behind them not turning the camera on.

💛 Embrace small talk.

Online calls are…just different that the face2face ones. We all feel the fatigue from staring at the screen all day long. Apart from that, it’s harder for us to connect with the person on the other side of the screen. So even if the small talk might be a bit awkward, it is our opportunity to set the positive vibes, share a smile (and don’t just start about business straightaway).

💛 If you need to share screen, share yours. Don’t ask participants to share their screens.

Sometime, there’s a need to share a screen, especially when we talk about testing prototypes in usability testing. Someone might not have an issue sharing their screen with you, but there’s always a danger they would be uncomfortable with it (they might have some pages opened they don’t want you to see, etc.). Preferably share your screen and if needed, give them control over your mouse.

💛 Add a few more minutes.

You might have noticed that online interviews tend to be longer than those taking place onsite. In the case of online interviews, we see less body language and facial expressions. That’s why we usually seek clarification by asking — Is everything clear? Is the user unsure about something? It’s wise to take this into consideration when planning the meeting.

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