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Guide: Interviewing Subject Matter Experts

Interviewing Subject Matter Experts: Best Practices and Interview Question Template

This is a document to help you conduct informational interviews with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).


Best Practices:

  1. Identify and reach out to SMEs individually to find a mutually acceptable time. See the document titled “Requesting an SME Interview (Example)” for sample language for your emails. You will want to conduct 5 to 7 interviews total with each interview being about 30 minutes long.
  2. Schedule the call with the SME using Uberconference or Google Hangout with Uberconference dial-in (you will want to have the ability to record voice and/or video).
    1. How to setup and use Uberconference
  3. Invite other team members to participate in the call, if applicable.
  4. Create a copy of the attached interview questions document, rename it with the SME’s name and date of interview.
  5. Share the document with any necessary team members.
  6. If you have multiple team members on the call, assign someone to take notes and someone else to ask most of the questions.  Have a chat window open so that the team can talk amongst themselves (pose additional questions, make suggestions, etc.)
  7. If there is only one person conducting the interview, you can take the recorded conversation and send it to an outsourcing website such as Fiverr or Upwork to get transcribed.
  8. Always inform the interviewee that the conversation is being recorded and ask permission to share it on your HeroX page (also see under “Introductions” section below).
  9. Follow (or don’t follow) the script.  Do what feels comfortable and works for you and the interviewee!

Follow this link to view the full document with an interview guide template!