Questions like “What do you think you company wants most from its suppliers?” are List of Job interview Guide for Ethiopia, invite the interviewee to offer an opinion, not just a yes or no or a one-word answer.
You can learn some interesting & unexpected things from open-end question but they diminish your control of the interview. The other person’s idea of what’s relevant may not coincide with your and you may waste some time getting the interview back on track.
Use open-end questions to warm up the interview and to look for information when you have plenty of time to conduct the conversation. Open-end questions are broad, general questions that allow the respondent maximum freedom in deciding how much and what kind of information to give.
The following are examples of open ended questions.
“In your own words, evaluate your accomplishments this year.”
“Tell me about your complaint.”
“Tell me what you know about our company”
“Why are you leaving our company?”
Advantages of Open-end questions : open ended questions can be effective because they relax some interviewees, who discover the questions are easy to answer and non-threatening. Also, these kinds of questions reveal what the interviewee thinks is important and may uncover information or attitudes previously unknown to the interviewer. Most interviews should begin with open-end questions.
Disadvantages: the responses to these questions are time consuming may cover information of little interest to the interviewer and could cause the interviewer to lose control of the interview.
- Direct open-end (or specific) questions
These are short questions requiring a short answer (or a “yes” or “no” answer). This type of question suggests a response. For example, “what have you done about…?” Assumes that some thing has been done and calls for an explanation.
“Is the accusation against you accurate?”
“Did you accomplish your top priority this year?”
“Who recommended you to us?”
“How many words a minute do you type?”
“How long have you been in this field of work?”
Direct questions are valuable in that they control and limit responses, save time, and may be more relaxing for some interviewees than open-ended questions. It gives the other person some freedom in framing a response. This form is good to use when you want to get a specific conclusion or recommendation from some one. However, direct questions give only limited information.
- Closed end questions
These questions completely limit the respondent’s choice of answers by requiring the respondent to select one of the answers supplied in the question.
“Do you prefer to work with Eyob, Yeshiwas or Tigist on this assignment?”
“Tell me your age group: 18-25, 26-35, 36-45 and over”
Questions like the above produce specific information, save time, require less effort from the interviewee, and eliminate bias and prejudice in answers. It gives the interviewer maximum control over the questions and answers. Moreover, the answers are easy to interpret, and more questions can be asked in less time.
However, closed questions do not allow for any detailed explanations nor do they allow the respondent to impart real feelings what the choices given do not include his or her preferred choice. They limit the respondent’s initiative and may prevent important information from being revealed. They are better for gathering information than for prompting an exchange of feelings.
- Loaded questions
These are questions that have no correct answers but are designed to get an emotional response. Loaded questions are seldom used, even by expert interviewers, unless care is taken, they can backfire on the interviewer.
Loaded questions are valuable, however, when used to determine how well a person handles pressure. Particularly, for jobs involving an unusual amount of stress or to stimulate a reticent or hostile respondent this type of questions are important.
Example: “Have you stopped drinking yet?”
“Are you still difficult to get along with?”
- Leading questions
A leading question implies the correct answer in the question itself.
Leading questions can be helpful in determining how far the respondent is willing to agree with the interviewer and in determining the consistency of current responses and earlier responses.
“You went the kind of car that gets good gas mileage, don’t you?”
“We are looking for creative people here what do you have to offer?”
- Verbal and non verbal probes
Probes are used to urge the respondent to add more information to a previous response. Verbal probes are usually single words or phrases requesting more information or a judgment.
- Useful questions begin with the words: what, when, where and who.
- When seeking judgment, ash questions that begin with the words why and how.”
Example: “Tell me more”
“What happened next?