Interviews—in which information is gathered through direct contact, either face-to-face or via telephone—are widely used by analysts. Interviews provide an understanding of the system, the system’s problems, and the users’ requirements. The personal contact the interview offers is desirable because it can establish rapport with users, give them an understanding of the development effort, gain their support for the development effort, and involve them in the development process.
Although the interview is a good way to get information and generate ideas, it has some shortcomings. Interviews may obtain erroneous or partial information from a person unwilling or unable to cooperate or from one who is not sufficiently knowledgeable. Also, the interviewer may miss or misinterpret some information received during an interview. An interviewer can corroborate facts by conducting interviews with more than one person, by observation, by transaction review, or by study of databases and files.