One of us (Dorothy), with many years of interviewing experience, was working with a colleague less experienced in the art. She conducted some interviews together, and then he did several on his own. The results were a bit frustrating—not as useful for the intended purpose of capturing deep smarts. “I think I’m asking the same questions you are,” he said. “How come I don’t get the same kind of responses?” There were probably two reasons: first, he was more of an expert than she was in that particular knowledge domain. This should make it easier, right? No. He knew so much about the topic that he made automatic connections of his own, assumptions about what the interviewee meant. And second, he knew the individual ...

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