Types of Topics in Questions
1. Open-ended Questions -used when you expect more than a yes
or no answer. Some typical open questions are: "Tell us about
your education program?", "What do you do in the
2. Closed-ended Questions – Used when you need to know a
specific piece of information (years of experience, technical
knowledge, etc.). These questions require a brief and solid
3. Leading Questions – These questions are assumptive ("So, you
have a lot of experience in safety and health, don´t you?). The
idea of leading questions is to get a specific response from the
interviewee ("yes, you can see that I’m a CIH…").
4. Behavioral Questions – Used to check the behavior of
interviewee. This type of question can indicate attitudes by
learning what the interviewee did in a similar situation in the past.
Sequence of Questions
1. Get the interviewee involved in the interview as soon as possible.
2. Before asking about controversial matters, first ask about the
3. Ask questions about the present before questions about the past
or future. It's usually easier for interviewee to talk about the
present and then work into the past or future.
4. The last questions might be to allow the interviewee to provide
any other information they prefer to add and their impressions of
N.B:Be careful asking "why" questions. This type of question infers a
cause-effect relationship that may not truly exist. These questions may
also cause interviewee to feel defensive, e.g., that they have to justify
their response, which may inhibit their responses to this and future
1. Attempt to remain as neutral as possible. That is, don't show
strong emotional reactions to their responses.
2. Encourage responses. Occasionally nod the head, "uh huh"s,
3. Be careful about the appearance when note taking. That is, if
you jump to take a note, it may appear as if you're surprised or
very pleased about an answer, which may influence answers to
4. Provide transition between major topics, e.g., "we've been
talking about (some topic) and now I'd like to move on to
5. Don't lose control of the interview. This can occur when
respondents stray to another topic, take so long to answer a
question that times begins to run out, begin asking questions to
the interviewer, or another person in the room starts asking
Immediately After Interview
1. Make any notes on your written notes
2. Write down any observations made during the interview. For
example, where did the interview occur and when, was the
respondent particularly nervous at any time? Were there any
surprises during the interview?
1. Talking incessantly (or more than the candidate
2. Asking closed or leading questions, unless you want to know
3. Asking irrelevant questions
4. Halo/Horns Effect: This happens when an interviewer places too
much emphasis on one positive characteristic (Halo) or one
negative characteristic (Horns) and allows this to unfairly shape
their overall opinion of the candidate
5. Primacy/Recency Effect: Interviewers tend to remember the first
and last person interviewed and may place unfair emphasis on
these candidates in a positive or negative way simply because
these candidates are more prominent in the interviewers mind.
In the interview, aim to
1. Put candidates at ease
2. Give background information on the organization and ensure all
interview terms and conditions are covered
3. Structure your questioning
4. Ask open questions
5. Start the interview with questioning in familiar
6. Avoid irrelevant personal questioning
7. Make sure the candidate’s questions
8. Be prepared to listen more than speak
9. Observe the time
10. Take notes unobtrusively
11. Ensure that an indication of the next step is given to the
Open-Ended Questions STAR Model:
Tell me about a time when
Give me an example of a situation where
Describe a situation when
This type of question if often followed up with probing questions like
What was your role in that situation?
What action did you take?
What did you do next?
What was the outcome?
How did you respond?
What would you do differently next time?
What did you learn from that experience?
How did you feel when that happened?
What was going through your mind when that happened?
• How did you do that?
Thanks in advance,