The feedforward interview

I have come across the feedforward interview (FFI) as an exciting add on to strengths based interviewing. FFI is based on the appreciative interview component of appreciative inquiry.


The FFI protocol was developed by Kluger and Nir (2010) and seeks to build awareness of strengths by asking interviewees to talk through a success story, and through that discover a personal success ‘code’, highly specific to that individual’s experience and aimed at sparking new insights. Different to typical competency based interviews, the interviewee is asked to state whether their current actions, priorities and plans for the future incorporate the same conditions as those experienced when acting out their personal success code for reaching happiness, optimal performance, outstanding leadership (whatever means success for the individual). This last step is critical as it creates a juxtaposition – from when things were going well to now… are things the same or different. If they’re different, how likely is it that they will repeat that success.


For instance, a bank branch manager interviewed a clerk who had received the bank’s “outstanding worker” award every year for the previous 10 years. In response to a request to tell a story about an event during which the clerk felt good and was full of life at work, the clerk responded “but I’ve never felt like that at work!” While the branch manager was stunned and still considering her response, the clerk added, “Actually, I did feel great, once, when I was filling in for a first-level manager in the branch while he was sick”. In light of the new information, the branch manager decided to promote this excellent clerk to a first-level management position. In this case, the FFI enabled a clerk labeled by her superiors as “excellent”, but who was frustrated and unfulfilled, to be promoted and in turn to further promote the operations of the branch. (Kluger & Nir, 2010).