InterviewThe interview of key personnel is the event when the client can get some of the most dominant information to identify the best vendor. The interview should not be a traditional presentation by a vendor, but resembles an interview for employment. The whole premise of the interview is to minimize marketing, decision making, and personal bias. The client is looking for a vendor that can make things simple, who can see the project from beginning to end, and identify the major risks involved in the project. The interview is different from a traditional interview in the following ways:

  1. The key person who will do the work is the one who will be interviewed.
  2. The interview is searching for an “expert” defined by The Informational Measurement Theory.
  3. The interview is non-technical.
  4. The interview is searching for an individual who can lead a team.

The number of people interviewed should be kept to the critical players, and should be minimized. The interview should be as short as possible. A 20-minute duration is sufficient. The number of questions should be limited to a few questions, and clarification can be asked if the key personnel do not respond in a dominant fashion.

The questions that should be asked include the following:

  1. What makes this project different and how are you going to bring more value to the
    project?
  2. Walk through the project from beginning to end in five minutes, identifying and prioritizing
    the risk and mitigation of risks.
  3. Explain the importance of the clarification period, and the major steps in the period.
  4. How will you measure your performance?
  5. At the end of the project, how will you know if you have done a good job?

The Interview Filter is part of the Selection Phase in the Performance Information Procurement System (PIPS). It is one of the most important criteria that all vendor bids are scored on! Try some of these techniques and questions out to see them in action. They will completely change the amount of information that you obtain from interviews!

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4 Key Points for Effective Vendor Interviewing
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