How good are the questions you asked people? Two simple categories of questions are open and closed. Closed questions are one that require a very specific answer. For example "Where do you live?" or "Who do you work for". These really might give you important specific information but tell you very little about the other person. I much prefer more open questions. A follow-up question might be "How did you get into that line of work?" or "What is it like to live there?" These are open questions and lead to lots of interesting information.
Business analysts are often after very specific information from a person they are interviewing so often asked very closed questions. "How often do you do that activity?" The difficulty is that you do not know much about that persons experience or point of view. Before you get into closed questions I suggest you get information on the person’s point of view. "What do you think about …….?" or "What value would …… be to you and your job?"
Open questions really help evaluate the answers you get. A person who has a very negative or positive view will give very different answers. The word "Analyst" in the job function means that you need to Analise the answer not not just record facts. Misleading information can really send a project off in the wrong direction.
In addition open questions really help in developing rapport with the person you are interviewing. However if the person is a real talker, at some stage closed questions are really necessary to narrow the conversation to the subject at hand.
These are some very fundamental things about interviewing but review of fundamentals is always useful.
This post was inspired by a post on http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/ about questions to ask people.