You can get personal with your subject
When it comes to rationalizing, the first thing to remember is that you rationalize the motive not the act. One very effective way to do that is with personal stories.
In fact, personal stories is my preferred method and fits very well in my interviewing style when I sit down with someone. When you share personal stories, what you’re going to do is share stories about how you understand how people, at times, can make bad decisions.
Let me tell you what I mean. These are some of the benefits of sharing a personal story:
• There’s a greater sense of reciprocity. When I open up and present a bit of myself to my subject, perhaps even
regarding bad decisions I’ve made, that encourages them to share a bit of themselves.
• It creates a greater sense of empathy. Sitting down and saying to someone, “Hey, I know what you’re going
through,” may not go very far. But when you present a personal story of a tough decision (a bad decision) that
you’ve made, then the individual gets a sense that perhaps you do understand.
• You’re putting yourself in a position of being non-judgmental. This is the most important benefit of sharing a
personal story. When I share a personal story, I’m able to share my human side. I’m able to show that I, too, am
fallible and that I’ve made some bad decisions. That I understand and have dealt with peer pressure. I know what
it’s like to look at a bill and wonder “How are we going to make it work?” I understand desperation.
Putting yourself in a position of being a bit vulnerable, sharing your human side, and being non-judgmental by sharing personal stories can go a long way towards getting the truth from someone during your interviews.
by Chris Norris, CFI