I love and hate the word why.
I was a journalism major in college and helped put myself through school working as a reporter, so I learned to use those classic journalism questions:
- Note: I’ve added one more since I’ve been in business: How much?
I think that we can agree that it’s cute when a young child keeps asking why…why…why.
But when your boss or a potential client or employer asks why…why…why, it can wear you down if you’re unprepared.
The lesson is that you must prepare to answer every one of these classic journalism questions whether you’re looking for a new client, job, or simply a project to be completed successfully.
Let’s focus on the interview, although you’ll get hit with these questions throughout your business career:
- Why are you interested in this category, company, location, and job?
- Why did you change jobs…get promoted…leave the company…make that decision…
Once you think the “why” question has been exhausted, the variations continue:
- Why did you say that / do that / think that?
- Why did others react that way?
- Why was “it” so successful / such a failure?
- And the every popular: Why didn’t you_________?
- Bosses also say “Why Didn’t You”…but that really isn’t a question.
Note that most of the 100-potential interview questions from Monster.com start with one of these journalism words.
Tell me more. What else? These are just demands to answer the initial question in more detail. I once had an interviewer ask me “tell me more” four times about something I thought was fairly mundane.