This module takes you through the “Engage and Explain” phase of the PEACE model: prior to commencing any interview, it is important to establish a level of trust and recognition between interviewer and interviewee. Through engaging with your interviewee and explaining the interview process to them, you can ensure that the interviewee feels comfortable speaking with you. Only once informed consent has been obtained can the interview begin. This is an important aspect of any interview process, and it is even more important when the content of the interview is highly sensitive, emotional, or confidential.
In Module 4, you will:
● Understand how to apply techniques for engaging the interviewee in conversation and how to explain interview procedures
● Identify some key elements of building positive rapport with the interviewee
● Understand the importance of giving control of the interview to the interviewee and find out how to do it
● Learn how to to obtain consent in an open, informed way
✓ The ‘Engage and Explain’ phase sets the tone of the interview and often determines its outcome. It is the moment in which the interviewer can establish trust and lay the foundations for successful communication and a positive relationship with the interviewee. It is also an opportunity to ask for consent, explain interview procedures and clarify how the information shared will be used.
✓ Building a positive rapport with the interviewee should not be regarded as something that is confined to the first phase of the interview; it is a process that continues throughout the interview. In the beginning of the interview, showing interest in the interviewee, asking them non-intrusive questions and engaging in conversation with them contributes to developing a relationship conducive to a successful interview.
✓ The interviewer should create a relaxed atmosphere and make the interviewee feel secure and confident during the interview. To this end, it is important to transfer control of the interview to the interviewee and make them feel a sense of predictability: for example, by providing a clear explanation of the objectives of the interview and introducing the topics to be discussed.
✓ Before starting to ask questions and collect information, the interviewer must obtain the interviewee’s informed consent to use and/or share their account. This requires that the interviewee understands the purpose of the interview, how information will be protected, and the intended use of it. When applicable, the interviewer could explain what information will be kept completely confidential, such as the identity and personal details of the interviewee, and what might be included in an internal or public report and/or shared with others. The interviewer should also discuss the potential implications of participation in the interview and any security considerations that may be attached to it.