The majority of comments left on my blog and sent to me by private message over the last week were ASKING that I spend the "A to Z" challenge discussing interviewing - how I teach interviewing, my favorite interview subjects, what I've learned, ones that have inspired me personally, etc.
When I teach interviewing I always stress the importance of ASKING questions. After all, the whole purpose of an interview is to gain knowledge. There are two basic ways to ASK for information:
1) Closed – ended questions usually only have one word answers – yes or no.
“Do the people who work here have specific job duties?”
“Is that pro scout checking out players?”
“Are you aware that regulations have changed?”
2) Open – ended questions can have many answers and allow for flexibility, or elaboration.
“What are some of the job duties required to work here?”
“What qualities does a pro scout look for in an athlete?”
“How are regulations changing this year?”
Notice that I’m dealing with the same topics in those questions, but ASKING using open-ended wording will help lead my subject to provide me with more information.
In addition to asking the right type of question, you want to AVOID:
1) Superficial questions – be direct – “What is fair about…?”
2) Negative questions – “Don’t you think…”
Both superficial and negative types of questions can feel accusatory or biased and is less likely to leave your subject wanting to share. Remember, you want your subject at ease and ready to talk. It’s your job to keep them comfortable and relaxed.
Do you have any questions about interviewing? Certain topics you are hoping I’ll cover, or people I’ve interviewed that you want to learn more about? Feel free to ASK in the comment section below!