3 questions to ask at the end of the interview

Nov 2, 2015 | Writing A Book

Interviews should be part of the writing process for any business book. Here are three questions to ask at the end of every interview to help you get the most you can from it.

Ask: “May I contact you again if I have a question?”

Research is an iterative process, not a straight line. Later interviews and other research will spark questions that you can’t identify in advance. That’s one reason to ask this question, so you have permission to contact the person again.

You also ask this because some people don’t want you do that. Knowing that keeps you from bothering them and wasting your time.

Ask: “Is there anything I should have asked you?”

I love this question because it unearths so much great insight and information. Often, the response starts with a laugh and something like, “Well, I was sure you were going to ask me …”

You can never know all the good questions to ask, so let your interview subject help you.

Ask: “Who else should I talk to?”

By the time you’ve finished your interview, your subject knows something about your project. He or she also knows people and other sources you haven’t identified yet. This question also gives them the opportunity to support your project by making contact with the people they recommend.

Say: “Thanks for your help.”

It’s not a question, but it’s super-important.