A Handful of Tips 3 – Questioning

Five of the best questioning tips

Ask Questions to get Information

Successful people are skilled questioners.

To learn more, master the skills of asking questions.

1. Start with comfortable questions

These draw people out, establish a rapport and will get them talking. “I hear you have a very interesting hobby. How did you start it?”

2. Ask open-ended questions

Closed questions bring only a ‘yes’ ‘no’ response. “Did you attend the party last week?”

Open-ended questions invite a longer reply and get people talking. “What did you like best about the office party last week?”

3. Ask ‘W and H’ questions

Professional interviewers use simple questions such as what, why, when, where, how and how much and get most of the information they want.

To remember these learn this verse with apologies from  Kipling’s ‘The Elephant Child’.

“I keep six honest serving men

(They taught me all I knew) ;

Their names were What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who.”


4. Try some ‘suppose and probe’ questions 

“Suppose you were the boss. What things would you change?”

“You said you were not happy with your working conditions. Why is that?”

“What made you say that?” 

“I am sorry to hear I have upset you. Thank you for telling me. What is the problem?”


5. Ask agreement questions

“That sounds a good idea. So you think we could do things differently. Tell us how?”

“How would you like a job in another department? Would that suit you?”


Time spent preparing and asking questions could change your career. Remember you will also need good listening skills.


– Geoffrey


“Without the right question you will never get the right answer.”



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