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Transcript of Question Pitfalls
which aren't honest, thorough or
COMMON QUESTION PITFALLS
The Bipolar Trap
Using a yes or no question
when you really want a detailed answer.
Beginning questions with "why", "how",
"explain" or "tell me about" helps to avoid this issue.
Don't use questions that are extremely open
such as, "Tell me something about yourself," or "What was it like to go back to college?"
The interviewee really has no clue where to begin or what to include in his/her answer.
THE TELL ME EVERYTHING
The Open-to-Closed Switch
Be careful about asking an open question
but switching it to closed before the interviewee
"Tell me about going back to college. Did you
have very much homework?"
The Double-Barreled Inquisition
Never ask 2 questions at the
same time instead of 1 specific
"How was your trip to Hawaii? Did
you go surfing?"
Avoid asking questions that suggest how they should be answered.
THE LEADING PUSH
"Everybody's going to the party, aren't you?"
Ask for the specific info you want, instead of trying to quess it. Guessing wastes time when one open question could get the same information.
The Guessing Game
Try not to ask questions that have an obvious yes or no answer. "Are you qualified for this job?" Do you want to pass the class?"
THE YES (NO) RESPONSE
Steer away from questions which are highly personal,
taboo, culturally sensitive or overly emotional.
THE DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL
The Curious Probe
If each question you ask is relevant to your predetermined purpose, you'll avoid the Curious Probe.
Don't assume, as an interviewee, that a question is irrelevant. There may be a reason.
As an interviewer, avoid useless questions which are a waste of everyone's time.