The WZ Method In A Nutshell
The Wicklander-Zulawski (WZ) Method of interview techniques is a non-confrontational interview process that allows the interviewer to build credibility through a brief introductory statement and then show understanding through rationalising.
The benefit of this structured approach is that it’s both rational and emotional in its appeal to the subject.
First, by building credibility with the introductory statement, you tell the subject three things: 1) a little about who you are and what you do; 2) the things you look into; and 3) the tools you use to look into these issues.
That brief monologue at the early stage of your interview builds enough credibility to plant the seed with the subject that you’re good at what you do, you know what’s happening and, more importantly, you can prove that information as being valid.
The second part of the WZ method is where you show understanding by rationalising with your subject. What’s important to understand about the rationalisation process is that you don’t rationalise the act, it’s never okay to steal, but you rationalise the motive behind the act.
This non-confrontational approach allows you to build credibility early, show understanding, and ease someone through the moments of fight-or-flight before you ever ask a question or start to get information from someone. It allows you to encourage honesty from your subject by mitigating and eliminating resistance before you ask those difficult questions.
by Chris Norris, CFI