Asking questions is hard, especially when it comes to starting a new job search, looking for the next step in your career, or during an interview—are you selling yourself in the right way?

So often we underestimate our skills and struggle to answer the right question when the time comes. The important thing to do is take a step back, consider your responses and ask for clarification. When in conversation it is easy to get distracted by questions and then provide an answer that is not suitable or off topic. It’s important to understand what the question actually is, so don’t be afraid to ask for clarification and don’t rush, that way you can provide the right answer.

When building a relationship in business, people often don’t understand needs and can’t understand the situation, and an executive job search is the same. By asking questions, you can start to build rapport, understand the needs, build creditability, and provide the right answer about you. This level of communication results in relationships that will last because both parties understand each other’s needs, driving you both towards success.

How do you drive conversation? Is it all one sided? Do you offer others the chance to talk? Are you asking the right questions? In business, influence is important. However, understanding cannot be underrated, and if you are not asking questions, how do you expect to understand?

Andrew Sobel, Author of Power Questions discovered that, “Asking questions can immediately help you win more business, deepen your relationships and connect with people more rapidly than you ever thought possible. It gives you the tools to get inside the heart and mind of anyone you meet.”

By asking the right questions, you can achieve the results you need, so what’s stopping you?

Try asking yourself questions every day and see how it affects your personal and business life. Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. asked one vital question: “Is this the best we can do?” By asking this, Jobs changed the format of the Apple Inc. to encourage every developer, designer, and member of the team to understand how they can improve everything they do in order to create the best products on the market.

If you would like more information on Andrew Sobel's book, Power Questions, a guide that helps unlock the power of asking a great, thought-provoking question please click here, and why not start unlocking your potential today?


The popular belief is that we win business and influence others by being clever and thinking quickly on our feet, and our brilliance is what attracts others. When, in fact, asking the right question is far more important than having a speedy answer...

How would your business and personal life be affected if you could propose a question that would:

  • Make an immediate connection with anyone?
  • Rapidly determine if a client is ready to buy?
  • Radically refocus a meeting?
  • Skillfully redefine problems?


This article was written by Gabrielle Williams of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).
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