Do you want to find one and only recipe for efficient interviewing? The truth is that it’s impossible. There are no single format for all the situations and no proper way applied to ask questions. But in the meantime, some helpful guidelines exist that can help you.
To come up with good questions, you have to know the objective of your interview and know what you have to learn from the individual you’re talking to. If you have this information in your mind, you will find it much easier to craft the questions that will be perfect for this exact interview. If you need help to figure out how to do this, read on and learn some of the best strategies!
- Begin with a “softball question.” The first question is the most important one as it helps you open your interview and create a good natural atmosphere. If you make it a “softball question,” you will certainly get this result and allow your interviewee to feel relaxed. Important: remember that your “softball question” needs to be a very simple and non-controversial one.
- Ask open-ended questions. During your interview, there should be a few or no “yes or no” questions. It’s much more beneficial to ask open-ended questions as they will allow you to learn all the information you need. Besides, it also serves the purpose of your interview, which is to create a dialogue.
- Continue with a reflection question. Such questions are also important, because they allow you to understand the thought process of your interviewee and keep the dialogue going. Ask the questions that will make this person share some information with you, tell stories from their life and recollect the facts you need to know. You can ask about such topics as their career path, important events from their life, challenges, etc.
- Ask questions that evoke emotional response. Asking this kind of questions will help you realize what makes your interviewee feel annoyed or excited. Those can be tricky questions that might cause any reaction – positive or negative. Of course, you should be careful with them – don’t make your interviewee furious.
- Include a “curve ball question.” If you understand that your interview comprises too many similar questions, you should add a so-called “curve ball question.” Ask something that is not related to the interview but will allow you to retrieve useful information. It will help you clear the air and make your conversation funnier.
- Paraphrase your questions. While preparing to the interview, write down all the questions you want to ask and then reread them. If any of them are not clear enough, paraphrase or replace them. Make sure that all the questions you’re going to ask are understandable and relevant.
Keep in mind that there is no single rule to conducting a good interview. So, write down all the interesting questions that are appropriate for your situation and use them flexibly to create an engaging and enjoyable conversation with your interviewee. Good luck!