Sitting face-to-face with Amanda Marshall in her 6th floor office in the U.S. Courthouse building, you’d never know that she is the top federal prosecutor in the state of Oregon, appointed by President Obama. If you’d heard Amanda’s stories about her crossroads in childhood, you wouldn’t suspect that she’d just shaken hands with Jimmy Carter.
Amanda was very trusting during our interview about leadership. She openly told me stories about leaders that she admired in college and how they helped steer her career to places she otherwise might have overlooked.
Our interview had clear objectives, but it felt more like a conversation. Amanda was generous about storytelling and really seemed to appreciate the opportunity to reflect on topics and dig into the details.
I’d like to be able say that I was able to gather all of this information because I’m a talented researcher who possess amazing interview skills. The truth, however, is that Amanda is a very open person and also a good friend.
In the case where you don’t know the person your interviewing and they aren’t familiar with your work, I wonder how you build trust. Do you have any tips for getting people to open up?