How to Ask Better Questions to Get Information

The ability to ask questions is a must for interviewers, journalists, and PR personnel. It is impossible to get information without asking questions. You must be able to make the correct inquiries in the correct way, at the appropriate timing. You should also know how to respond to questions as they might not provide you with the information you need.

There are two major reasons why questions fail well the question is either too simple or broad the person who is being asked isn’t ready to answer the question or isn’t knowledgeable enough about the topic. Sometimes, your knowledge of a subject could be inadequate even if you’ve done everything else well Ask open-ended questions instead of closed-ended ones, for instance, but you’ll be unable to answer because you didn’t have enough knowledge of the subject prior to the question.

A great question is created to provide the person being asked to elaborate on a subject without feeling uneasy about the subject. The manner in which you pose questions can be a major factor in how useful they are for you and in understanding the issue. Let’s examine the examples of question types that do not perform well, and then we’ll look at the ones that work.

Inappropriate Question [ARTICLE END[ARTICLE END

This article is a list of “bad” and “good” questions however, there is no guidance on how to differentiate between good and bad questions? I’m not sure… It isn’t so much an article as it is an advertisement for someone else’s work (*Advanced Interviewing Techniques A Practical Guide to Building Successful Relationships between Insiders and Journalists Written by Steve Brownlee).

— David Kellogg

I couldn’t have put it better me! -Jeff Weyers Jeff Weyers

The author is conscious of how “bad” queries are extremely dependent on context, with what is effective in one context being unproductive or counterproductive in a different situation. The list of examples without providing any direction on how to discern the difference makes people who aren’t able to tell the difference between them to begin asking the wrong questions since they’re more straightforward than the good ones.

-Doug Muder Doug Muder

If you’re interested in someone who has written a book, I recommend buying it instead of trying to make use of copyright laws to get no-cost distribution with no the need for attribution. In the meantime, we’ll work to bring our own book about public relations soon.PRC – PRC

We appreciate your feedback. My goal is to highlight the difference between the best and worst questions through examples, and not to encourage people to ask these questions. These lists are simply suggestions for the things not to say that is based on common mistakes journalists make when interviewing. Advanced interview techniques are provided in the final section of every chapter of Steve Brownlee’s guidebook, which is available directly via him or the library of your choice. -Jeff Weyers Jeff Weyers

I’m actually hoping to use the list of bad questions that can serve as an example of what not to ask, in the same way, that I provide examples of what not to say in stories. However, I disagree with PRC that it is more beneficial to provide “good” questions rather than “bad” questions. This is only the first of a number of articles to be published on this website in the coming weeks, and each will cover a particular aspect or approach to interviewing. I hope you’ll read them and offer your comments on ways to improve their quality of them. -Jeff Weyers Jeff Weyers

Excellent job, PRC! The article was fascinating however, I’m not sure if it was informative or helpful because you failed to do what every journalist (from beginner up to master) on earth requires to provide actual details on the best way to ask questions. If you’ve read Steve’s books (which is an exercise that I highly recommend to anyone working with journalists) In it, he goes into detail not only about the characteristics of the wrong question, but also about how to avoid it.

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