Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Questions Copy

Here are a few of the most important tips to keep in mind when planning your questions:


  • Ask only one question at a time, wait until the answers are given before adding a follow-up.
  • Leave space and quiet for participant to process, and respond
  • Listen to the answers and offer positive encouragement and feedback.
  • Repeat or paraphrase answers to help others hear and understand.
  • Adjust questions from one participant to another to match abilities.
  • Ask a variety of types of questions, with different types of responses.


  • Ask fact- based questions or questions with only one correct answer
  • Ask recall questions – whether recalling from previous conversations, or from past experiences
  • Argue with participants or correct their answers
  • Rush or jump in too quickly to over-explain or fill silences.