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Clean Interviewing

Basic Clean Interviewing Skills

Learn the basics of this versatile skill that can be used with individuals and groups in any interview context where you want to obtain high-quality information while avoiding bias. The tools can be used practically in the fields of recruiting, marketing, sales and research, among others.

In a regular interview, it is very easy - and natural - to bias the data collection without even meaning to. We paraphrase the interviewee's words; we think we know what they mean (and so fail to ask further questions) and we ask questions which are full of our own assumptions. A clean interviewer seeks to reduce the possibility of bias creeping in by asking questions of the interviewee's actual words, exploring what's behind those words and asking questions which are as free from assumption as possible - all while keeping the purpose of the interview in mind.

During this training, you will learn:

  • The purpose of interviewing cleanly and its costs and benefits.
  • How to use the ‘Cleanness Rating’ to distinguish between classically clean, contextually clean, mildly leading and strongly leading questions.
  • How to frame a Clean Interview and keep it on track.
  • The purpose of repeating back and how often to do this.
  • How to summarise what’s been said and redirect attention.
  • Tips and troubleshooting.

To gain a certificate in Basic Clean Language Interviewing, you will need to submit a 20-minute interview for assessment. Assessment will be based on the Cleanness Rating and whether the interview is fit for purpose. (You will be able to submit one or two practice interviews for review/feedback during the course.) 


When I think of Clean Interviewing, I think of "high fidelity." I'm convinced that if you need to relay the thoughts / knowledge / feelings / beliefs of individuals with minimal distortion, then Clean Interviewing is the best way to obtain the information. Since learning the techniques, I've started using them to facilitate communication between non-designers and designers. I've seen some evidence that "high fidelity" information from non-designers obtained early in a project can help designers to create a product that "feels right" more efficiently. I can imagine many other potential applications, and I believe that the world will be a better place if more people learn how to gather information in this respectful, non-leading way.

Lisa Hosokawa

The Basic Clean Interviewing training was like attending a series of dinner parties, with a great group in a relaxed atmosphere. We enjoyed an entertaining mix of theory, practising and exchange, which revealed lots of interesting connections. This was the well-known quality of Clean Learning trainings in a new shape.


As I age, what I engage with in terms of training has become, by default, increasingly intentional. Over the years, I have participated in a lot of the more cliche training that has swept over the corporate landscape in the United States, i.e. Myers Briggs, Be Here Now, etc. I am not suggesting that these trainings weren't valuable on some level, however, I would not have chosen them. When it comes to selecting training now, I think about relevance, and whether or not what is being offered will transcend a current trend. 'Basic Clean Interviewing', I have found fits that bill; in fact, it exceeded my expectations in terms of material covered and usability going forward. Being able to incorporate what I have learned so far, within the Clean Interviewing scope, will only deepen my understanding of the information I receive from those who I engage with in a Clean Interviewing context. I am SO grateful that this has been offered via Zoom in a timeframe that is accessible to my schedule in the U.S. and hope that others will consider this course and the perpetual benefits that it offers.

Deb Carpenter

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