As long as I have worked with a lot of clients I can say "There are no rules in approach".
What you have to remember is that every person can be negotiated. The main thing is to hear what do they say.
In a case you are dealing with a non-professional, your job is to hear his simple wishes in his muddled speech of. Sometimes it can only be felt. But you are professional, so separate the wheat from the chaff. Think like Sherlock. Be better.
Your goal - keywords that will help you create the right image, comfortable environment for the individual. It’s like in the Google Search. You write few words but getting so different content that you even didn’t imagine to find. So it gives you a wide margins for creativity. Feel free.
You can use any techniques and methods to get it. But don’t ever ask what do the person likes in examples. Don’t ask him to show the concrete pictures. It gets him scared that you’ll make the same as at that photo. Better do what you feel.
And then you get to the important part of the project – “Story telling”. Nothing is interesting while you don’t tell the story. In interior design the same thing. But you have to describe your feelings and emotions about the design solution. Just in this way your client will understand you. And your idea became his own. He will even believe that your design is that he wanted all his life. Be the best in a story-telling and you’ll become a favorite designer of your client ever.