Interview Questions

A reminder of the pairing of questions we discussed this semester regarding interviews will be the focus of this post. It is possible that there will be questions highlighting these areas on the final exam.

Open vs. Closed Questions

This pair places emphasis on the breadth of a response expected by the interviewee. For example, a closed question will likely limit the response offered, because it inherently expects a brief answer. In contrast, open questions allow the respondent maximum latitude in their answer, giving them as much or little length or time as they desire to respond.

Primary vs. Secondary Questions

This pairing focuses on the topic of a question. Primary questions introduce a new topic or area of discussion for an interview, while secondary questions follow up on a topic. For example, a primary question might ask about a specific work experience, while a secondary question will ask the interviewee to elaborate on a particular aspect of their response.

Neutral vs. Leading Questions

This pair determines the expected response from the interviewee. While leading questions reveal the bias or expected response from the interviewer’s perspective, neutral questions provide maximum freedom. An example of a leading question might be “Isn’t that book amazing?” Clearly, in this situation, the person asking the question already has an opinion and wants the person being asked the question to share that opinion. By contrast, a neutral form of that same idea might be “What do you think of that book?” By not offering an opinion, the respondent is less likely to feel a pull or push toward a specific response.

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