How to write interview questions

Be prepared for the interview with several well-crafted questions

There could be situations in which you can be asked to interview people to find out some important information. It is not an easy task as you have to write the well-crafted questions that will help you have a nice conversation. Your primary task is to discover the purpose of your interview and consider what things you should find out from the particular person.

There are some useful guidelines you can follow to make your interviewing effective and successful.

Gather all the information you can about your interviewee

Do your research on the person who you are interviewing. It is very important to know who this person is in order to write out good questions. Try to find out as much as possible about person`s achievements, goals, failures, and personality.

Write down your goal for the interview

The goal will help you create questions that will steer your interview in the right direction. Keep centered on the goal of your interview to come up with the relevant questions.

 Put yourself in your interviewee`s shoes

Treat yourself as both interviewee and interviewer. You should provide answers to your questions. Don`t confuse your interviewee with some difficult questions. View him or her as an intelligent person.

Start your interview with a simple question

The first question should set the right tone to your interview. Make your interlocutor open and relaxed in order to find out more information you are interested in. Your interview should flow naturally so make your interviewee feel comfortable. Use appropriate and understandable language. Never ask more than one question at a time. Avoid leading questions.

Avoid ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions

You won`t create a full dialogue with your interviewee by just asking him or her questions that could be answered by ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Write open-ended questions which require a full answer. Such questions will put your interlocutor at ease. Moreover, you will be able to find out about a person`s personality, communication skills, values, and dedication. Here are some examples of good open questions:

  • Describe the first time you…
  • How would you describe yourself to other people?
  • Tell me more about the time when…

 Summarize your interviewee`s answers to move on to the next question

Give yourself a second to digest the information repeating the key points of your interviewee answer.

Challenge your interviewee

Formulate some tricky questions if you want to see how a person performs under pressure.

Prepare some reflection questions

Make your interlocutor look back by asking him or her to share some past experiences. It will give you the opportunity to learn how a person thinks. Such questions will help you to keep the conversation going.

Ask questions that elicit an emotional response

Try to ask something that will get you a feeling-based response.  It means you should consider some topics that can make a person feel annoyed or excited. It is also very important to be able to formulate questions on the spot to find out more information. You can take notes to capture the main points as your conversation progresses.

 Rephrase your questions

During the conversation with your interviewee some of your prepared questions can become irrelevant. So, be ready to ignore them and come up with something new. Rephrase your questions to make them more clear and understandable.

 Ask some specific questions

Use your knowledge and creativity to tailor specific questions in order to dig deeper and find out something really valuable for you.

Don`t forget about a curve ball questions

You can add a curve ball question to diversify your conversation and make it more interesting. You can use this technique if you have written too many similar questions for your interviewee.

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