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The Initial Interview


(First of all note that we are now saying we should put the interviews right in Crit_A and Crit_B documents, and make a point to the moderators that they should not count in the word count. For A, it is best at the end of the document, for B, it will have to go where the prototype is.)

 

Your first big and significant job is to arrange and carry out an interview with your client. (And by the way, I do know it can be a big deal to have to, as a student, meet with a busy adult; but the biggest thing with anything like this is to just do it; and the easiest way to just do it is to just get started. Never-the-less, it will help to be prepared. So with this you will prepare ahead of time some questions. With these questions, you may follow completely your "script", or just use a a general guide to get the interview started.


So in this first interview, you have two main jobs:

1. Get the general idea of the scenario - what is it that the person or organization does? How often do they do whatever? And so on.

2. Try to identify a problem(s) which could have a software program solution.

Following are some kinds of questions that could be included. Naturally, I don't expect to see these copied and pasted and uploaded; never-the-less, if you see some general questions which would fit your person, go ahead and include them. But think of your particular client, and their particular situation, and both customize questions to their situation, and add more questions which would be appropriate.

Upload your list of questions. The more the better, frankly, but to put at least a bottom limit; at least 5 "scenario" questions and 5 "possible problem/solution" questions.

 

Example Questions for Understanding the General Scenario:

What does your job entail?

Who do you work for?

How often do you do this or that?

What sort of things are you responsible for?

Who is your boss/who do you report to?

What are individual jobs you do?

What software programs do you use now to do your work?

*** The better you understand the scenario, the better you will be able to come up with a proposed problem and solution. So don't skim on these kinds of questions. Really spend a good amount of time seeking a full unerstanding of what they do.

*** And the other thing with both sets of questions, is you don't have to stick exactly to these questions and teh

 

Example Questions Which May Lead to A Problem Needing to be Solved

What particular task is it that is most annoying about your job?

Are there any particular problems that you would like a digital solution to?

What kind of information do you work with?

How do you presently store and work with that data?

Are there any difficult or multi-step calculations that are involved in any part of your work, which would be good automated.

 

You can record this most simply with your laptop, and then transcribe the most important points. (You could even save the recording and include it as an appendix when you submit your dossier.)

And one last thing to reiterate; you do not have to stick to the "script" of your questions - listen carefully to the responses of your client, and ask follow-up questions, and pursue things that come up that you didn't think about beforehand.

(Overall key point from past grading: Please do include a word count for the complete Criterion A.)

(Overall key point from past grading: Referencing has to be better.)

The first "Mini Interview" should be with a busy person or someone with a club or other responsibility and ask them what they do, what problems the have and how you might be able to help them.