The first step in developing information-getting skills is to assess how effective you are at getting information. Probably the best way to test this is to evaluate the outcome of an interview and determine whether you were successful in obtaining the quantity and quality of information necessary to achieve your objective. This may not always be as easy as it might appear. In the selection interview, for example, your objective might be to get as much relevant information as necessary in order to make an accurate assessment of the candidates’ suitability for the job. This information will then be used (by you and/or by others) to decide which candidate to appoint. If, later, the appointee proves to be a disappointment, it may be difficult to determine whether this was the result of the quantity and quality of information you obtained during the interview or a result of the way the information was used in the decision-making process. Nonetheless, even though an accurate attribution of cause and effect may be difficult, this kind of ongoing personal appraisal can be an effective way of monitoring ones own performance.
Another way of assessing information-getting skills is to compare the information you obtain from a respondent with that obtained by somebody else. It is not unusual for a job applicant to be interviewed by more than one person, either in the context of a panel interview or a series of separate interviews. This latter arrangement offers the best opportunity to compare your information-getting skills with others, because each interviewer is responsible for the overall management of his or her own interview. You might ask yourself whether others found out things you missed, whether they obtained a better understanding of issues and whether they interpreted what was said in the same way as you.
Sometimes, but unfortunately not often enough, it is possible to compare the information you have collected with some more objective record of the facts. For example, a community physiotherapist may be given an urgent referral and may have to interview a patient at home before his medical records are available, or after a bank raid a security officer may have to interview counter staff before the tape from a video camera is available. 
Information obtained in this way can be compared with the medical records or the evidence on the tape later. Where the results of these kinds of assessment suggest room for improvement you need to determine more precisely which skills require development. One way you can do this is to compare your information-getting behaviour with some standard of good practice. This way forward requires that you have some notion of what comprises good practice and also that you have a method of obtaining feedback on your own behaviour, so that deviations from good practice can be identified.
Definitions of good practice might vary, depending on the purpose of the interview. In an interrogation, for example, erratic interviewing sequences might be more effective than more consistent sequences such as the tunnel. In a screening interview, on the other hand, tunnel sequences that comprise a series of closed questions might be much more effective than a mixture of open and closed questions presented within a funnel or inverted funnel sequence.

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