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38. Ask The Right Questions

38. Ask The Right Questions

An interview is a form of storytelling that we haven’t spent much time touching on. Unlike many of the other story types we’ve discussed, an interview gives you the least freedom to control how the plot will turn out. In a situation like that, the best thing you can do is learn to ask the right questions.

There are a lot of tips and tricks to giving a good interview, for one your questions should be open ended to elicit a strong response. Second, they should not be leading – you don’t want to bias the answer by framing your question improperly. Third, you should talk to the person’s emotions, if they tell you a story, asking them what it was like, how it made them feel. The responses you get from these kinds of questions can breath life into what might otherwise be a dull narrative.

If you need more help coming up with questions, take a lot at this list from the StoryCorp,

Great questions for anyone

What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
Who was the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?
Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did they teach you?
Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
What is your earliest memory?

Dive deeper into this list and get a feeling for how questions are framed.

As for the video, if you want to see a real interview, go watch the Sarah Silverman clip from earlier, but this is still a fantastic (and entertaining) look at how interview questions can be framed.

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