Module 6: Conduct an Appreciative Inquiry Interview

For this assignment, you will conduct an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) interview with a person of your choosing. You can interview: a) a classmate or other student with work experience; b) a co-worker; c) an adult friend; or d) an adult family member.

The purpose of this activity is to: 1) give you an introductory experience on how to conduct an interview; and 2) learn the transformative potential of Appreciative Inquiry. After conducting the interview, you will write up your findings as detailed below, submitting a 750-1000 word paper.

Before you begin:


1. Decide on who you want to interview. Interviews can be done in person (be sure to maintain social distancing), or by phone or video.

2. Contact them ASAP to schedule the interview. Interviews ideally will be completed by Friday to give you time to write up your findings, analysis, and reflection. Confirm their preference for the format (in-person, phone, or video conference). Send a reminder email or text the day before.

Sample invitation language: “I’m conducting an interview for a class assignment. I’d like to reflect with you on what experiences you’ve found inspiring and valuable in your own work. Would you have 30 minutes to talk about your experiences? To protect your privacy, I will not share your name or organization with anyone else, just summarize the main points we cover in our conversation.”

3. Prepare an interview guide outline that includes the following items:

  • Introduction. Thank the person for participating, let them know why you’re doing this, and that their participation is voluntary.

Sample language: “Let me first say thank you for this meeting. I appreciate you taking time to reflect with me. My goal for today is to learn from your real-life experiences about the positive role of business in building a better world. This interview is for a class assignment to learn what is most meaningful to people in their work lives. I will be taking notes and summarizing your comments. Your responses are voluntary. We can skip over anything you don’t want to discuss, and we can stop the interview any time–just let me know. The interview will last about 30 minutes. Are you ready to begin?”

  • Questions: choose 3-5 questions from the article above (or from the learning materials articles) that energize you and make sense for the person you want to talk with. As you ask the questions, jot down notes to capture their responses. Be sure to also make eye contact with them and provide verbal acknowledgements to let them know you are listening and paying attention. Sample language: “That’s all the questions I have for today. Do you have anything else you’d like to tell me that I haven’t asked” <LISTEN AND RESPOND>.
  • Conclusion: thank them for their time. Ask them if they have any questions. Ask if they would like to see a summary of their answers. Sample language: I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today. I’ll write up a summary of your responses in the next couple of days. Would you like me to send you a copy? Ok, thank you again for your participation.”

4. Conduct the interview as outlined in your interview guide.

5. Write up your findings. Immediately after the interview, type up your notes from the meeting to capture your participant’s responses while they’re still fresh in your mind. In a separate section, also jot down any feelings or thoughts you experienced doing the interview, and what you think you are learning from the data right now. These notes to yourself are known as analytic memos (Links to an external site.).

6. Prepare a 750-1000 word paper covering the following items:

  • Participant background: Who did you interview (general description, not name). Why did you select them? What is their professional experience (e.g., industry, position, years of experience)?
  • Summary of interview: What questions did you ask, and what were their responses? Write at least 1-2 paragraphs for each question asked.
  • Interpretation of data: What patterns/themes emerge as you make sense of these data (their responses)? Analyze these insights using concepts and vocabulary from Modules 1-6 to make sense of their answers and frame them in the larger context of organizational transformation.
  • Reflection: What was your experience doing this activity? Was it fun, challenging, etc.? Be specific and reflect on why you might have experienced these feelings. How might what you have learned from this activity (both content-wise from the data and analysis, and reflection-wise about yourself) be helpful as you go forward in your studies and work?

7. Send a thank you note to your participant. Include a copy of their summarized responses if they requested that.

Powered by WordPress