Interview Skills

Opportunity! Build your interview skills here today!

Open Ended Questions VS Closed Questions

    Questions that can be answered with a yes or no or one-word answer are closed-ended questions, and should generally be avoided in interviews. This is because they do not encourage an in-depth response nor will they illicit rich stories and experiences that you aim to collect through interviews.



      Examples of closed-ended questions:



      • How long have you lived in your apartment?


      • Do you like your landlord?


      • Have you talked to your neighbors about your landlord?



      In general, open-ended questions that encourage respondents to describe feelings and tell stories make better interview questions. They encourage respondents to describe feelings and tell stories.


      Examples of open-ended questions:



      • What are some of your concerns about your apartment?


      • In what ways does your landlord respond to your needs and concerns?


      • How do you feel about your landlord?


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Interview tips

  • Use “how” questions vs. “why” questions when you are seeking descriptions and detailed information. Asking “why” questions often leads to justifications rather than descriptions. “Why” questions are useful for organizing purposes and can agitate or provoke. “How” questions tell you more detailed information and are good for your interviews.


  • Clarification or Probing questions are useful to use when your respondent is discussing something important that you want more information about, or when you are unsure of what they are saying and need clarification. Examples of clarification questions include:


    • What do you mean by____?


    • Can you be more specific about____?


    • When you said____, what does that look like? Can you give me some examples?


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Using statements to set up your questions

Sometimes the person we’re interviewing may need a little more information in order to provide a more complex answer. You can use statements to ensure your interview is focused on your topic and the person you’re interviewing has enough information, and a clear idea of your purpose, in which to answer.

Example:


Statement: Studies have shown that teenage males are (insert fact) more violent/sexually active/prone to bullying than teenage girls.



Question: How much of a role do you feel gender plays in regards to teen violence/sexting/bullying?




You can use facts, statements or anecdotes from your experience to set up your questions. But be warned, over using them may contaminate your interview!


Statement: Studies have shown that teenage males are (insert fact) more violent/sexually active/prone to bullying than teenage girls.



Question: How much of a role do you feel gender plays in regards to teen violence/sexting/bullying?




You can use facts, statements or anecdotes from your experience to set up your questions. But be warned, over using them may contaminate your interview!

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TASK

Practising your interview skills.


Each member of your group needs to write 3 questions with the aim of finding out a peers opinion on a selected topic


(TOPIC WILL BE PROVIDED BY TEACHER - KEEP YOUR TOPIC SECRET FOR THE MOST EFFECTIVE INTERVIEW)


Interview a peer OUTSIDE of your group.


Once all members of your group have completed their interviews come back together and discuss how effective your interviews were. How could they be improved?


See Edmodo or your booklet for your next interview task for our PBL project.


BEST OF LUCK!